Anne Kandler

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Theoretical analyses within the broad field of social learning research give mixed conclusions on whether the shape of a diffusion curve can be used to infer that a learned trait increases through social or asocial learning. Here we explore how factors such as task structure (e.g., multiple-step tasks), task abandonment, subgoal learning, and neophobia(More)
'Language shift' is the process whereby members of a community in which more than one language is spoken abandon their original vernacular language in favour of another. The historical shifts to English by Celtic language speakers of Britain and Ireland are particularly well-studied examples for which good census data exist for the most recent 100-120 years(More)
In this paper we apply reaction-diffusion models to explore the relationship between the rate of behavioural innovation and the level of cultural diversity. We investigate how both independent invention and the modification and refinement of established innovations impact on cultural dynamics and diversity. Further, we analyse these relationships in the(More)
This paper examines the evidence for selective reproduction of ceramic types based on their evolving frequency distribution, and on correlations of the abundance of types with underlying functional characteristics. How can we tell if a variant has been preferentially selected or discriminated against, and become more or less frequent than would be expected(More)
Differences between men and women in the performance of tests designed to measure spatial abilities are explained by evolutionary psychologists in terms of adaptive design. The Hunter-Gatherer Theory of Spatial Ability suggests that the adoption of a hunter-gatherer lifestyle (assuming a sexual division of labor) created differential selective pressure on(More)
Attempts to describe language competition and extinction in a mathematical way have enjoyed increased popularity recently. In this paper I review recent modeling approaches and, based on these findings, propose a model of reaction-diffusion type. I analyze the dynamics of interactions of a population with two monolingual groups and a group that is bilingual(More)
In this paper we consider the spread of modern technological innovations. We contrast social learning and threshold heterogeneity models of innovation diffusion, and show how the typical temporal evolution of the distribution of adopters may be consistent with either explanation. Noting the likelihood that each model contains some useful independent(More)
Organisms often respond to environmental change phenotypically, through learning strategies that enhance fitness in variable and changing conditions. But which strategies should we expect in population exposed to those conditions? We address this question by developing a mathematical model that specifies the consequences of different mixtures of individual(More)
Neutral evolution is a frequently used model to analyse changes in frequencies of cultural variants over time. Variants are chosen to be copied according to their relative frequency and new variants are introduced by a process of random mutation. Here we present a non-equilibrium neutral model which accounts for temporally varying population sizes and(More)
This chapter argues that an evolutionary cultural approach to language not only has already proven fruitful, but it probably holds the key to understand many puzzling aspects of language, its change and origins. The chapter begins by highlighting several still common misconceptions about language that might seem to call into question a cultural evolutionary(More)