Exemplar models, evolution and language change

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

86 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Evidence supporting a rich memory for associations suggests that people can store perceptual details in the form of exemplars. The resulting particulate model of category contents allows the application of evolution theory in modeling category change, because variation in categorized percepts is reflected in the distribution of exemplars in a category. Within a production-perception feedback loop, variation within an exemplar-based category provides a reserve of variants that can serve as the seeds for shifts in the system over time through random or selection-driven asymmetries in production and perception. Here, three potential pathways for evolutionary change are identified in linguistic categories: pruning of lines of inheritance, blending inheritance and natural selection. Simulations of each of these pathways are shown within a simple exemplar-based model of category production and perception, showing how consideration of evolutionary processes may contribute to our understanding of linguistic category change over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-274
Number of pages28
JournalLinguistic Review
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006

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language change
linguistics
Exemplar Models
Language Change
asymmetry
simulation
evidence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

Exemplar models, evolution and language change. / Wedel, Andrew B.

In: Linguistic Review, Vol. 23, No. 3, 01.10.2006, p. 247-274.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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