Simpler grammar, larger vocabulary: How population size affects language

@article{Reali2018SimplerGL,
  title={Simpler grammar, larger vocabulary: How population size affects language},
  author={Florencia Reali and Nick Chater and Morten H. Christiansen},
  journal={Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences},
  year={2018},
  volume={285}
}
  • Florencia Reali, Nick Chater, Morten H. Christiansen
  • Published 2018
  • Computer Science, Medicine
  • Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • Languages with many speakers tend to be structurally simple while small communities sometimes develop languages with great structural complexity. Paradoxically, the opposite pattern appears to be observed for non-structural properties of language such as vocabulary size. These apparently opposite patterns pose a challenge for theories of language change and evolution. We use computational simulations to show that this inverse pattern can depend on a single factor: ease of diffusion through the… CONTINUE READING

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