Exploring the Nature of a Systematicity Bias: An Experimental Study

Andrew D. M. Smith, Barbora Skarabela, Monica Tamariz

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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    Abstract

    In this study, we tested the circumstances under which cultural evolution might lead to regularisation, even in the absence of an explicit learning bottleneck. We used an artificial language experiment to evaluate the degree of structure preservation and the extent of a bias for regularisation during learning, using languages which differed both in their initial levels of regularity and their frequency distributions. The differential reproduction of regular and irregular linguistic items, which may signal the existence of a systematicity bias, is apparent only in languages with skewed distributions: in uniformly distributed languages, reproduction fidelity is high in all cases. Regularisation does happen despite the lack of an explicit bottleneck, and is most significant in infrequent items from an otherwise highly regular language.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on the Evolution of Language
    EditorsAndrew D. M. Smith, Marieke Schouwstra, Bart de Boer, Kenny Smith
    PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing
    ISBN (Electronic)978-981-4465-68-7
    ISBN (Print)9814295213, 978-9814295215
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    Event8th International Conference on the Evolution of Language - Utrecht, Netherlands
    Duration: 14 Apr 201017 Apr 2010

    Conference

    Conference8th International Conference on the Evolution of Language
    Abbreviated titleEvoLang 8
    CountryNetherlands
    CityUtrecht
    Period14/04/1017/04/10

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