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dc.contributor.authorAtkinson, Mark
dc.contributor.authorSmith, Kenny
dc.contributor.authorKirby, Simon
dc.date.accessioned2020-11-02T10:30:03Z
dc.date.available2020-11-02T10:30:03Z
dc.date.issued2018-12-06
dc.identifier.citationAtkinson , M , Smith , K & Kirby , S 2018 , ' Adult learning and language simplification ' , Cognitive Science , vol. 42 , no. 8 , pp. 2818-2854 . https://doi.org/10.1111/cogs.12686en
dc.identifier.issn0364-0213
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 270928767
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 0263b181-cd43-4220-bbd7-37d297fc9cb9
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000453527500014
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85055042367
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10023/20873
dc.descriptionMark Atkinson was supported by an Arts & Humanities Research Council PhD Studentship (AH/K503010/1).en
dc.description.abstractLanguages spoken in larger populations are relatively simple. A possible explanation for this is that languages with a greater number of speakers tend to also be those with higher proportions of non-native speakers, who may simplify language during learning. We assess this explanation for the negative correlation between population size and linguistic complexity in three experiments, using artificial language learning techniques to investigate both the simplifications made by individual adult learners and the potential for such simplifications to influence group-level language characteristics. In Experiment 1, we show that individual adult learners trained on a morphologically complex miniature language simplify its morphology. In Experiment 2, we explore how these simplifications may then propagate through subsequent learning. We use the languages produced by the participants of Experiment 1 as the input for a second set of learners, manipulating (a) the proportion of their input which is simplified and (b) the number of speakers they receive their input from. We find, contrary to expectations, that mixing the input from multiple speakers nullifies the simplifications introduced by individuals in Experiment 1; simplifications at the individual level do not result in simplification of the population's language. In Experiment 3, we focus on language use as a mechanism for simplification, exploring the consequences of the interaction between individuals differing in their linguistic competence (as native and non-native speakers might). We find that speakers who acquire a more complex language than their partner simplify their language during interaction. We ultimately conclude that adult learning can result in languages spoken by more people having simpler morphology, but that idiosyncratic simplifications by non-natives do not offer a complete explanation in themselves; accommodationby comparatively competent non-natives to less competent speakers, or by native speakers to non-nativesmay be a key linking mechanism.
dc.format.extent37
dc.language.isoeng
dc.relation.ispartofCognitive Scienceen
dc.rightsCopyright © 2018 The Authors. Cognitive Science Journal published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Cognitive Science Society. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.en
dc.subjectLanguage evolutionen
dc.subjectLanguage complexityen
dc.subjectCultural transmissionen
dc.subjectAdult learningen
dc.subjectLinguistic accommodationen
dc.subjectForeigner-directed speechen
dc.subjectBF Psychologyen
dc.subjectLC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing educationen
dc.subjectNDASen
dc.subject.lccBFen
dc.subject.lccLC5201en
dc.titleAdult learning and language simplificationen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Managementen
dc.identifier.doihttps://doi.org/10.1111/cogs.12686
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden


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