Ergence of SVO even in the absence of the posited computational

Ergence of SVO even in the absence of the posited computational (syntactic) system. We agree with Langus and Nespor that participants’ behavior in elicited pantomime tasks is not being governed by bona fide syntactic processing, and yet we have demonstrated that merely instructing participants to be consistent in the form of their gestures and to share them with the experimenter was sufficient to increase the frequency of participants using SVO to describe reversible events. Because participants were never exposed to other people’s pantomimes, this result cannot be due to a process like creolization, which is known to give rise to SVO. Because we observed an increase in SVO even among Turkish (SOV) speakers, the effect likewise cannot not be attributed merely to covert influence from the participants’ native language. Thus, it would seem that at least some aspects of a strict interpretation of Langus and Nespor’s model requires modification. Relaxing some of the assumptions of Langus and Nespor (2010) allows the model to capture the data with minimal modification. In particular, the model is largely successful if the assumption that the two systems are strictly segregated is dropped, and that a push for SVO is triggered by exposure to linguistic input during infancy. In that case, the model would essentially propose that, over time, the various constraints that languages face tend to be best satisfied by SVO order. Here we have considered only three potential constraints, but there are likely many others as well. For example, there may also exist a cognitive preference for mentioning the subject before the verb, as suggested by Giv (1979). If so, that could explain why our data contain so few instances of VSO, which is the only other efficient nonSOV order that keeps subjects before objects. And indeed, perhaps it is not a coincidence that VSO is the third most common order across Isovaleryl-Val-Val-Sta-Ala-Sta-OH web spoken languages. There may be additional reasons to avoid orders with both nominal arguments on the same side of the verb. For example, Gibson et al. (in press) propose that languages evolve away from SOV toward SVO in part because orders with subject and object on opposite sides of the verb are more resistant to information loss during communication. Although there are some drawbacks to this particular account (see Hall, Mayberry, Ferreira, submitted), it nevertheless illustrates the principle that language structure is likely to be influenced by functional pressures. Here we have demonstrated the impact of some basic pressures that are likely to be active early on in the process of a system becoming organized into language (evolving a lexicon and having communicative partners). Given the above evidence that constituent order is sensitive to these pressures in a laboratory context, it is important to ask ML390 biological activity whether similar patterns are attested in other situations of language creation and evolution over varying time scales. We consider this question in four contexts: (1) how homesign systems change as children grow up, (2) how constituent order becomes organized in emerging sign languages across a few generations, (3) the evolution of pidgins into creoles, and (4) how established languages change over long time scales.NIH-PA Author Manuscript NIH-PA Author Manuscript NIH-PA Author ManuscriptCogn Sci. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2015 June 01.Hall et al.PageHomesign refers to idiosyncratic systems (or sometimes family-lects) invented by deaf children w.Ergence of SVO even in the absence of the posited computational (syntactic) system. We agree with Langus and Nespor that participants’ behavior in elicited pantomime tasks is not being governed by bona fide syntactic processing, and yet we have demonstrated that merely instructing participants to be consistent in the form of their gestures and to share them with the experimenter was sufficient to increase the frequency of participants using SVO to describe reversible events. Because participants were never exposed to other people’s pantomimes, this result cannot be due to a process like creolization, which is known to give rise to SVO. Because we observed an increase in SVO even among Turkish (SOV) speakers, the effect likewise cannot not be attributed merely to covert influence from the participants’ native language. Thus, it would seem that at least some aspects of a strict interpretation of Langus and Nespor’s model requires modification. Relaxing some of the assumptions of Langus and Nespor (2010) allows the model to capture the data with minimal modification. In particular, the model is largely successful if the assumption that the two systems are strictly segregated is dropped, and that a push for SVO is triggered by exposure to linguistic input during infancy. In that case, the model would essentially propose that, over time, the various constraints that languages face tend to be best satisfied by SVO order. Here we have considered only three potential constraints, but there are likely many others as well. For example, there may also exist a cognitive preference for mentioning the subject before the verb, as suggested by Giv (1979). If so, that could explain why our data contain so few instances of VSO, which is the only other efficient nonSOV order that keeps subjects before objects. And indeed, perhaps it is not a coincidence that VSO is the third most common order across spoken languages. There may be additional reasons to avoid orders with both nominal arguments on the same side of the verb. For example, Gibson et al. (in press) propose that languages evolve away from SOV toward SVO in part because orders with subject and object on opposite sides of the verb are more resistant to information loss during communication. Although there are some drawbacks to this particular account (see Hall, Mayberry, Ferreira, submitted), it nevertheless illustrates the principle that language structure is likely to be influenced by functional pressures. Here we have demonstrated the impact of some basic pressures that are likely to be active early on in the process of a system becoming organized into language (evolving a lexicon and having communicative partners). Given the above evidence that constituent order is sensitive to these pressures in a laboratory context, it is important to ask whether similar patterns are attested in other situations of language creation and evolution over varying time scales. We consider this question in four contexts: (1) how homesign systems change as children grow up, (2) how constituent order becomes organized in emerging sign languages across a few generations, (3) the evolution of pidgins into creoles, and (4) how established languages change over long time scales.NIH-PA Author Manuscript NIH-PA Author Manuscript NIH-PA Author ManuscriptCogn Sci. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2015 June 01.Hall et al.PageHomesign refers to idiosyncratic systems (or sometimes family-lects) invented by deaf children w.

Leave a Reply