Jason (jcreed) wrote,
Jason
jcreed

In this language log post Mark Lieberman links to a longer description of an interesting experiment in modeling vocabulary creation. His conclusion is that for a language community to successfully negotiate consensus about how words are pronounced, it is necessary and sufficient (given some other assumptions about how pronunciations are learned) for the individuals in that community to have a continuous ("gradient", "probabalistic") internal representation of belief about pronunciation, and a discrete ("categorical") way of perceiving pronunciations.
Tags: linguistics
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