Limits...
The integration hypothesis of human language evolution and the nature of contemporary languages.

Miyagawa S, Ojima S, Berwick RC, Okanoya K - Front Psychol (2014)

Bottom Line: Our claim is that E and L, taken separately, are in fact finite-state; when a grammatical process crosses the boundary between E and L, it gives rise to the non-finite state character of human language.We provide empirical evidence for the Integration Hypothesis by showing that certain processes found in contemporary languages that have been characterized as non-finite state in nature can in fact be shown to be finite-state.We also speculate on how human language actually arose in evolution through the lens of the Integration Hypothesis.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA, USA ; Center for Research and Development of Higher Education, University of Tokyo Tokyo, Japan.

ABSTRACT
How human language arose is a mystery in the evolution of Homo sapiens. Miyagawa et al. (2013) put forward a proposal, which we will call the Integration Hypothesis of human language evolution, that holds that human language is composed of two components, E for expressive, and L for lexical. Each component has an antecedent in nature: E as found, for example, in birdsong, and L in, for example, the alarm calls of monkeys. E and L integrated uniquely in humans to give rise to language. A challenge to the Integration Hypothesis is that while these non-human systems are finite-state in nature, human language is known to require characterization by a non-finite state grammar. Our claim is that E and L, taken separately, are in fact finite-state; when a grammatical process crosses the boundary between E and L, it gives rise to the non-finite state character of human language. We provide empirical evidence for the Integration Hypothesis by showing that certain processes found in contemporary languages that have been characterized as non-finite state in nature can in fact be shown to be finite-state. We also speculate on how human language actually arose in evolution through the lens of the Integration Hypothesis.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Bengalese finch song.
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Figure 1: Bengalese finch song.

Mentions: Birdsongs can be complex, as in the example of the Bengalese finch. The Bengalese finch song loops back to various positions in the song, which leads to considerable variation (Figure 1). Nevertheless, all known birdsongs can be described as a k-reversible finite state automaton (Berwick et al., 2011), a restricted class of automata that are efficiently learnable from examples. The L type also is a simple finite state system. The Integration Hypothesis conjectures that these two major systems in nature that underlie communication, E and L, integrated uniquely in humans to give rise to language.


The integration hypothesis of human language evolution and the nature of contemporary languages.

Miyagawa S, Ojima S, Berwick RC, Okanoya K - Front Psychol (2014)

Bengalese finch song.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4048833&req=5

Figure 1: Bengalese finch song.
Mentions: Birdsongs can be complex, as in the example of the Bengalese finch. The Bengalese finch song loops back to various positions in the song, which leads to considerable variation (Figure 1). Nevertheless, all known birdsongs can be described as a k-reversible finite state automaton (Berwick et al., 2011), a restricted class of automata that are efficiently learnable from examples. The L type also is a simple finite state system. The Integration Hypothesis conjectures that these two major systems in nature that underlie communication, E and L, integrated uniquely in humans to give rise to language.

Bottom Line: Our claim is that E and L, taken separately, are in fact finite-state; when a grammatical process crosses the boundary between E and L, it gives rise to the non-finite state character of human language.We provide empirical evidence for the Integration Hypothesis by showing that certain processes found in contemporary languages that have been characterized as non-finite state in nature can in fact be shown to be finite-state.We also speculate on how human language actually arose in evolution through the lens of the Integration Hypothesis.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA, USA ; Center for Research and Development of Higher Education, University of Tokyo Tokyo, Japan.

ABSTRACT
How human language arose is a mystery in the evolution of Homo sapiens. Miyagawa et al. (2013) put forward a proposal, which we will call the Integration Hypothesis of human language evolution, that holds that human language is composed of two components, E for expressive, and L for lexical. Each component has an antecedent in nature: E as found, for example, in birdsong, and L in, for example, the alarm calls of monkeys. E and L integrated uniquely in humans to give rise to language. A challenge to the Integration Hypothesis is that while these non-human systems are finite-state in nature, human language is known to require characterization by a non-finite state grammar. Our claim is that E and L, taken separately, are in fact finite-state; when a grammatical process crosses the boundary between E and L, it gives rise to the non-finite state character of human language. We provide empirical evidence for the Integration Hypothesis by showing that certain processes found in contemporary languages that have been characterized as non-finite state in nature can in fact be shown to be finite-state. We also speculate on how human language actually arose in evolution through the lens of the Integration Hypothesis.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus