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Cumulative cultural evolution in the laboratory: An experimental approach to the origins of structure in human language
- S. Kirby, H. Cornish, Kenny Smith
- Computer ScienceProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
- 5 August 2008
The first experimental validation for the idea that cultural transmission can lead to the appearance of design without a designer is provided, which shows that languages transmitted culturally evolve in such a way as to maximize their own transmissibility.
Spontaneous evolution of linguistic structure-an iterated learning model of the emergence of regularity and irregularity
- S. Kirby
- BiologyIEEE Trans. Evol. Comput.
- 1 April 2001
A computationally implemented model of the transmission of linguistic behavior over time and a realistic distribution of string lengths and patterns of stable irregularity emerges, suggesting that the ILM is a good model for the evolution of some of the fundamental features of human language.
Linguistic Evolution Through Language Acquisition: Learning, bottlenecks and the evolution of recursive syntax
- S. Kirby
This chapter formally investigates the interaction of these two unique properties of human language: the way it is learned and its syntactic structure.
The emergence of linguistic structure: an overview of the iterated learning model
As language users humans possess a culturally transmitted system of unparalleled complexity in the natural world. Linguistics has revealed over the past 40 years the degree to which the syntactic…
Function, Selection, and Innateness: The Emergence of Language Universals
- S. Kirby
- 24 June 1999
1. A Puzzle of Fit, 2. Hierarchies and Competing Motivations, and Innateness and Function in Linguistics.
Innateness and culture in the evolution of language
- S. Kirby, Mike Dowman, T. Griffiths
- BiologyProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
- 1 March 2006
It is shown that cultural transmission can magnify weak biases into strong linguistic universals, undermining one of the arguments for strong innate constraints on language learning.
Compression and communication in the cultural evolution of linguistic structure
The Evolutionary Emergence of Language: Syntax Without Natural Selection: How Compositionality Emerges from Vocabulary in a Population of Learners
- S. Kirby
This approach does not deny the possibility that much of the authors' linguistic ability may be explained in terms of natural selection, but it does highlight the fact that biological evolution is by nomeans the only powerful adaptive system at work in the origins of human language.
Iterated Learning: A Framework for the Emergence of Language
Two models are presented, based upon the iterated learning framework, which show that the poverty of the stimulus available to language learners leads to the emergence of linguistic structure.
How arbitrary is language?
- P. Monaghan, R. Shillcock, Morten H. Christiansen, S. Kirby
- LinguisticsPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B…
- 19 September 2014
It is proposed that the vocabulary is structured to enable systematicity in early language learning to promote language acquisition, while also incorporating arbitrariness for later language in order to facilitate communicative expressivity and efficiency.