Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 15 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides evidence for the role of cultural evolution in the emergence of linguistic structure. It reviews these models, and discusses why the emergence of structure in language is a central question for evolutionary linguistics. Computational and experimental models demonstrate that pressures operating during language learning and language use can give rise to the appearance of design in language, through the repeated cycles of learning and use that characterizes language transmission. Finally, this chapter discusses how learning biases at the individual level lead to the presence of typological universals: systematic patterns in how the world’s languages tend to be structured.

Keywords: language evolution, combinatoriality, compositionality, cultural transmission, iterated learning

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.