Evolved structure of language shows lineage-specific trends in word-order universals

@article{Dunn2011EvolvedSO,
  title={Evolved structure of language shows lineage-specific trends in word-order universals},
  author={Michael Dunn and Simon J. Greenhill and Stephen C. Levinson and Russell David Gray},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2011},
  volume={473},
  pages={79-82}
}
Languages vary widely but not without limit. [] Key Method Here we use computational phylogenetic methods to address the nature of constraints on linguistic diversity in an evolutionary framework. First, contrary to the generative account of parameter setting, we show that the evolution of only a few word-order features of languages are strongly correlated. Second, contrary to the Greenbergian generalizations, we show that most observed functional dependencies between traits are lineage-specific rather than…
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