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Changing Minds Changing ToolsFrom Learning Theory to Language Acquisition to Language Change$
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Vsevolod Kapatsinski

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780262037860

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262037860.001.0001

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Bringing It All Together

Bringing It All Together

(p.269) 10 Bringing It All Together
Changing Minds Changing Tools

Vsevolod Kapatsinski

The MIT Press

This chapter reviews the hypotheses about learning, processing, and mental representation advanced in the rest of this book, and brings them together to explain some recurrent patterns in language change, including changes involving phonetics, semantics, and morphology. It also discusses some general principles that recur throughout the book, including the functional value of redundancy (degeneracy), the ubiquity of evolution (variation and selection) as a mechanism of change, and domain-general learning mechanisms. Promising future directions and gaps in the literature are outlined. The chapter concluded that domain-general learning mechanisms provide valuable insights into the central issues of language acquisition and explanations for recurrent patterns in language change, which in turn explain why languages are the way they are, including not only language universals but also the emergence of specific typological rarities.

Keywords:   language change, domain-general learning, language universals, typological rarities, redundancy, degeneracy, evolution, phonetics, semantics, morphology

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