Language Evolution as a Darwinian Process: Computational Studies

This paper presents computational experiments that illustrate how one can precisely conceptualize language evolution as a Darwinian process. We show that there is potentially a wide diversity of replicating units and replication mechanisms involved in language evolution. Computational experiments allow us to study systemic properties coming out of populations of linguistic replicators: linguistic replicators can adapt to specific external environments; they evolve under the pressure of the cognitive constraints of their hosts, as well as under the functional pressure of communication for which they are used; one can observe neutral drift; coalitions of replicators may appear, forming higher level groups which can themselves become subject to competion and selection.


Published in:
Cognitive Processing, 8, 21-35
Year:
2007
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 Record created 2008-01-23, last modified 2018-03-18

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