Modeling Language Transmission
- Jon W. CarrAffiliated withSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh Email author
- , Kenny SmithAffiliated withSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh
Languages adapt as they are transmitted from one generation to the next. Modeling language transmission in computer simulations and laboratory experiments shows how this process gives rise to the structure found in language.
Language is a defining characteristic of our species, so understanding its evolutionary origins is central to understanding human evolution. In their seminal paper, Pinker and Bloom (1990) argued that the evolution of language is best understood as the result of conventional Darwinian processes, just like other complex biological traits. However, languages themselves also adapt and evolve over repeated episodes of learning and use, providing two evolutionary mechanisms that shape language: the biological evolution of the human capacity for language and the cultural evolution of language itself. This entry outlines the consequences of cultural evolution for language and gives examples of how modeling language transmission can shed light on how l ...
Reference Work Entry Metrics
Date: 2016 (Latest)History
- 2016 (Latest)
- Modeling Language Transmission
- Reference Work Title
- Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science
- pp 1-5
- Online ISBN
- Springer International Publishing
- Copyright Holder
- Springer International Publishing AG
- Editor Affiliations
- 1. Oakland Univ Dept of Psycholgy
- 2. Department of Psychology, Oakland University
- Author Affiliations
- 4. School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh, 3 Charles Street, EH8 9AD, Edinburgh, UK
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