Verifying theories of language acquisition using computer models of language evolution

Paul Vogt, Elena Lieven

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article presents a dense database study of child language acquisition from a usage-based perspective and a new analysis of data from an earlier study on simulating language evolution. The new analysis is carried out to show how computer modeling studies can be designed to generate predictions (results) that can be compared quantitatively with empirical data obtained from the dense database studies. Although the comparison shows that the computer model in question is still far from realistic, the study illustrates how to carry out agent-based simulations of language evolution that allow quantitative verification of predictions with empirical data to validate theories on child language acquisition. © 2010 International Society for Adaptive Behavior.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)21-35
    Number of pages14
    JournalAdaptive Behavior
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


    • Dense database studies
    • Early child grammar
    • Language games
    • Traceback methods
    • Usage-based approach


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