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Creating LanguageIntegrating Evolution, Acquisition, and Processing$
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Morten H. Christiansen and Nick Chater

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034319

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034319.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 28 May 2022

Language Created across Multiple Timescales

Language Created across Multiple Timescales

(p.3) 1 Language Created across Multiple Timescales
Creating Language

Morten H. Christiansen

Nick Chater

The MIT Press

The apparently unified picture of language and language processing from classical cognitive science does not provide a compelling picture: the relationship between processing and acquisition is tenuous; language evolution seems miraculous. The standard defense of the classical picture against concerns of this kind is that it is “the only game in town”; there is simply no alternative framework for understanding language. But recent developments in language research mean that this defense is no longer valid. There have been important developments in a range of fields, including statistical natural language processing, corpus-based linguistics, learnability theory, functional linguistics, computational modeling, psycholinguistic experiments with children and adults, and developments in the theory of language evolution. This book provides what has been missing: a comprehensive new framework for bringing these diverse lines of evidence together to understand how language is created across multiple timescales. Chapter 1 introduces the core elements of this innovative synthesis of research on language evolution, acquisition and processing, and provides an overview of the main arguments of the book.

Keywords:   Multiple timescales, Language evolution, Language acquisition, Language processing, Cognitive science

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