A learning-efficiency explanation of structure in language

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper proposes a learning-efficiency explanation of modular structure in language. An optimal grammar arises as the solution to the problem of learning a language from a minimal number of observations of instances of the use of the language. Agents face symmetry constraints that limit their ability to make a priori distinctions among symbols used in the language and among objects (interpreted as facts, events, speaker's intentions) that are to be represented by messages in the language. It is shown that if it is commonly known that the object space is modular and messages are strings, then modularity of the language is sufficient and (essentially) necessary for learning efficiency. Journal of Economic Literature Classification Number: C72.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-285
Number of pages21
JournalTheory and Decision
Volume57
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Language
Learning
Efficiency
efficiency
language
learning
Economics
Aptitude
grammar
symbol
event
ability
economics

Keywords

  • Grammar
  • Language
  • Learning
  • Mechanism design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

A learning-efficiency explanation of structure in language. / Blume, Andreas -.

In: Theory and Decision, Vol. 57, No. 3, 11.2004, p. 265-285.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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