A Mathematical Model of Prediction-Driven Instability: How Social Structure Can Drive Language Change [Book Review]

I discuss a stochastic model of language learning and change. During a syntactic change, each speaker makes use of constructions from two different idealized grammars at variable rates. The model incorporates regularization in that speakers have a slight preference for using the dominant idealized grammar. It also includes incrementation: The population is divided into two interacting generations. Children can detect correlations between age and speech. They then predict where the population’s language is moving and speak according to that prediction, which represents a social force encouraging children not to sound out-dated. Both regularization and incrementation turn out to be necessary for spontaneous language change to occur on a reasonable time scale and run to completion monotonically. Chance correlation between age and speech may be amplified by these social forces, eventually leading to a syntactic change through prediction-driven instability
Keywords Language variation  Language change  Incrementation  Mathematical model  Social structure  Prediction-driven instability
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10849-011-9136-y
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,707
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Guy Dove (2012). Grammar as a Developmental Phenomenon. Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):615-637.
Greg Littmann (2012). Moments of Change. Acta Analytica 27 (1):29-44.
Darren Bradley (2013). Dynamic Beliefs and the Passage of Time. In A. Capone & N. Feit (eds.), Attitudes De Se. University of Chicago
Henry Jackman (1999). Moderate Holism and the Instability Thesis. American Philosophical Quarterly 36 (4):361-69.
Ryan Wasserman (2006). The Problem of Change. Philosophy Compass 1 (1):48–57.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

9 ( #254,415 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #289,836 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.