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The Computational Nature of Language Learning and Evolution
Author: Partha Niyogi

ISBN: 9780262513395
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 504
Published: 15 September 2009
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 17.8 x 2.0
Description:
The nature of the interplay between language learning and the evolution of a language over generational time is subtle. We can observe the learning of language by children and marvel at the phenomenon of language acquisition; the evolution of a language, however, is not so directly experienced. Language learning by children is robust and reliable, but it cannot be perfect or languages would never change--and English, for example, would not have evolved from the language of the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicles." In this book Partha Niyogi introduces a framework for analyzing the precise nature of the relationship between learning by the individual and evolution of the population. Learning is the mechanism by which language is transferred from old speakers to new. Niyogi shows that the evolution of language over time will depend upon the learning procedure--that different learning algorithms may have different evolutionary consequences. He finds that the dynamics of language evolution are typically nonlinear, with bifurcations that can be seen as the natural explanatory construct for the dramatic patterns of change observed in histor...

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