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New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: Experiments in Cultural Language Evolution
Edited By: Luc Steels
Series Title: Advances in Interaction Studies 3

The fascinating question of the origins and evolution of language has been
drawing a lot of attention recently, not only from linguists, but also from
anthropologists, evolutionary biologists, and brain scientists. This
groundbreaking book explores the cultural side of language evolution. It
proposes a new overarching framework based on linguistic selection and self-
organization and explores it in depth through sophisticated computer
simulations and robotic experiments. Each case study investigates how a
particular type of language system can emerge in a population of language
game playing agents and how it can continue to evolve in order to cope with
changes in ecological conditions. Case studies cover on the one hand the
emergence of concepts and words for proper names, color terms, names for
bodily actions, spatial terms and multi-dimensional words. The second set of
experiments focuses on the emergence of grammar, specifically case
grammar for expressing argument structure, functional grammar for
expressing different uses of spatial relations, internal agreement systems for
marking constituent structure, morphological expression of aspect, and
quantifiers expressed as articles.

The book is ideally suited as study material for an advanced course on
language evolution and it will be of interest to anyone who wonders how
human languages may have originated.

Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics
Historical Linguistics
Linguistic Theories
Text/Corpus Linguistics
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Format: Electronic
ISBN-13: 9789027274953
Prices: U.S. $ 149.00
Europe EURO 99.00
Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9789027204561
Prices: U.K. £ 99.00
Europe EURO 104.94
U.S. $ 149.00