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LINGUIST List 18.176

Wed Jan 17 2007

Disc: New: Redundancy and Evolution

Editor for this issue: Ann Sawyer <sawyerlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Alex Marsden, Redundancy and Evolution

Message 1: Redundancy and Evolution
Date: 17-Jan-2007
From: Alex Marsden <ajm44kent.ac.uk>
Subject: Redundancy and Evolution


I was recently studying redundancy on a psycholinguistics module. I was
wondering if anyone knows of any research done on evolution in relation to
redundancy? I read that after listening to someone speak, the listener will
- on average - have forgotten around 50% of what has been said (Fiske,
1982: 11). I suggested that this could have been the reason for humans
adopting function words to complement the content words - as if the person
deletes the function words as they listen, they will simply be left with
the content words and the actual intended meaning of the utterance. Can
anyone give me anymore information on this? Thanks - Alex Marsden

Fiske, J. (1982) Introduction to Communication Studies, USA: Methuen and Co.

Linguistic Field(s): Psycholinguistics

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