Innateness and culture in the evolution of language.

  title={Innateness and culture in the evolution of language.},
  author={Simon Kirby and Mike Dowman and Thomas L. Griffiths},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  volume={104 12},
Human language arises from biological evolution, individual learning, and cultural transmission, but the interaction of these three processes has not been widely studied. We set out a formal framework for analyzing cultural transmission, which allows us to investigate how innate learning biases are related to universal properties of language. We show that cultural transmission can magnify weak biases into strong linguistic universals, undermining one of the arguments for strong innate… CONTINUE READING
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