The Now-or-Never bottleneck: A fundamental constraint on language

  title={The Now-or-Never bottleneck: A fundamental constraint on language},
  author={Morten H. Christiansen and Nick Chater},
  journal={Behavioral and Brain Sciences},
Abstract Memory is fleeting. New material rapidly obliterates previous material. How, then, can the brain deal successfully with the continual deluge of linguistic input? We argue that, to deal with this “Now-or-Never” bottleneck, the brain must compress and recode linguistic input as rapidly as possible. This observation has strong implications for the nature of language processing: (1) the language system must “eagerly” recode and compress linguistic input; (2) as the bottleneck recurs at… 

Chunk-Based Memory Constraints on the Cultural Evolution of Language

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  • K. Clark
  • Computer Science
    Communicative & integrative biology
  • 2018
The authors' “Chunk-and-Pass” processing putatively mitigates the severe multilevel Now-or-Never bottleneck via fast linguistic coding and compression, hierarchical language representation and pattern duality, and incrementally learned item-based predictions useful for grammaticalization over wide spacetime scales.

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  • K. PeterssonP. Hagoort
  • Computer Science, Biology
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2012
The brain represents grammars in its connectivity, and its ability for syntax is based on neurobiological infrastructure for structured sequence processing, and the acquisition of this ability is accounted for in an adaptive dynamical systems framework.

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