Language acquisition meets language evolution
Chater, Nick and Christiansen, Morten H.. (2010) Language acquisition meets language evolution. Cognitive Science, Vol.34 (No.7). pp. 1131-1157. ISSN 0364-0213Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1551-6709.2009.01049.x
Recent research suggests that language evolution is a process of cultural change, in which linguistic structures are shaped through repeated cycles of learning and use by domain-general mechanisms. This paper draws out the implications of this viewpoint for understanding the problem of language acquisition, which is cast in a new, and much more tractable, form. In essence, the child faces a problem of induction, where the objective is to coordinate with others (C-induction), rather than to model the structure of the natural world (N-induction). We argue that, of the two, C-induction is dramatically easier. More broadly, we argue that understanding the acquisition of any cultural form, whether linguistic or otherwise, during development, requires considering the corresponding question of how that cultural form arose through processes of cultural evolution. This perspective helps resolve the “logical” problem of language acquisition and has far-reaching implications for evolutionary psychology.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HM Sociology|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Warwick Business School > Behavioural Science
Faculty of Social Sciences > Warwick Business School
|Journal or Publication Title:||Cognitive Science|
|Publisher:||Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.|
|Number of Pages:||27|
|Page Range:||pp. 1131-1157|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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