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Modeling Language Change: The Pitfall of Grammaticalization

  • Quentin Feltgen
  • Benjamin Fagard
  • Jean-Pierre Nadal
Chapter
Part of the Lecture Notes in Morphogenesis book series (LECTMORPH)

Abstract

Language evolution is the subject of various theoretical studies, following two main paths: one, where language is viewed as a code between meanings and forms to express them, with a focus on language as a social convention; and the other defining language as a set of grammatical rules governing the production of utterances, evolution being the outcome of mistakes in the acquisition process. We claim that none of the current models provides a satisfactory account of the grammaticalization phenomenon, a linguistic process by which words acquire a grammatical status. We argue that this limitation is mainly due to the way these models represent language and communication mechanisms. We therefore introduce a new framework, the “grammatheme,” as a tool which formalizes in an unambiguous way different concepts and mechanisms involved in grammaticalization. The model especially includes an inference mechanism triggering new grammaticalization processes. We present promising preliminary results of a numerical implementation and discuss a possible research program based on this framework.

Keywords

Language Evolution Naming Game Conceptual Link Language Change Linguistic Phenomenon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Quentin Feltgen
    • 1
  • Benjamin Fagard
    • 2
  • Jean-Pierre Nadal
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physique Statistique, CNRS - Ecole Normale Supérieure - UPMC - Univ.Paris Diderot, PSL Research UniversityParisFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire Lattice, CNRS, Ecole Normale SupérieureUniversité Sorbonne Nouvelle, PSL Research University, Sorbonne Paris-CitéMontrougeFrance
  3. 3.Centre d’Analyse et de Mathématique Sociales, CNRS-Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences SocialesPSL Research UniversityParisFrance

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