Chapter

Resolving pattern conflict: Variation and selection in phonology and morphology

Andrew Wedel

in Analogy in Grammar

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780199547548
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720628 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199547548.003.0004
Resolving pattern conflict: Variation and selection in phonology and morphology

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In a feedback-driven model of language change, conflict between patterns at distinct levels of linguistic organization can be understood as a form of multi-level selection. Simulations of conflicts between phonological and morphological patterns show that positive feedback can promote pattern consolidation at one level at the expense of the other. In this way, analogical generalizations over subparts of the lexicon can be shown to be emergent properties of complex linguistic systems.

Keywords: language change; feedback; multi-level selection; exemplar modeling; regularity; language evolution; agent-based simulation

Chapter.  6852 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psycholinguistics

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