Words as alleles: connecting language evolution with Bayesian learners to models of genetic drift.

@article{Reali2010WordsAA,
  title={Words as alleles: connecting language evolution with Bayesian learners to models of genetic drift.},
  author={Florencia Reali and Thomas L. Griffiths},
  journal={Proceedings. Biological sciences},
  year={2010},
  volume={277 1680},
  pages={429-36}
}
Scientists studying how languages change over time often make an analogy between biological and cultural evolution, with words or grammars behaving like traits subject to natural selection. Recent work has exploited this analogy by using models of biological evolution to explain the properties of languages and other cultural artefacts. However, the mechanisms of biological and cultural evolution are very different: biological traits are passed between generations by genes, while languages and… CONTINUE READING
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