Syntax without Natural Selection : How compositionality emerges from vocabulary in a population of learners

@inproceedings{Kirby1998SyntaxWN,
  title={Syntax without Natural Selection : How compositionality emerges from vocabulary in a population of learners},
  author={Simon Kirby},
  year={1998}
}
How can we explain the origins of our uniquely human compositional system of communication?1 Much of the recent work tackling this problem (e.g Bickerton 1990; Pinker & Bloom 1990; Newmeyer 1991; Hurford et al. 1998) explicitly attempts to relate models of our innate linguistic endowment with neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory. These are essentially functional stories, arguing that the central features of human language are genetically encoded and have emerged over evolutionary time in response… CONTINUE READING
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