Emergence of the Split Goal Marking System in a Population of Simulated Agents

Main Article Content

Ponrawee Prasertsom
Attapol T. Rutherford

Abstract

Languages generally prefer not to employ overt marking on motion endpoints (Goals), with this tendency being most significant for toponyms. An earlier attempt to explain this fact is incompatible with research in corpus linguistics. This paper has two aims: 1) to provide a more plausible explanation and 2) to test its validity. The explanation provided here appeals to economy: humans’ desire for minimal production and comprehension effort. Its validity was tested and confirmed using agent-based modelling. The results show the contribution of each condition and its effects on the dynamics of language users’ convergence on a shared marking system. Furthermore, they suggest that the current explanation may need to be amended to include another necessary condition: that language users predominantly infer the role of a zero-marked noun from overall, as opposed to verb-specific, frequency distribution of motion roles.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Prasertsom, P., & T. Rutherford, A. (2021). Emergence of the Split Goal Marking System in a Population of Simulated Agents. Language and Linguistics, 39(2), 156-184. Retrieved from https://so04.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/joling/article/view/245405
Section
Research Article

References

Becker, L., & Naranjo, M.G. (2017). Coding asymmetries, frequency and predictability: The case of to vs from [Conference presentation abstract]. The Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society, Germany, 39, 144-146. http://dgfs2017.unisaarland.de/wordpress/abstracts/AG5/ag5-2-beck.pdf.

Beuls, K., & Steels, L. (2013). Agent-based models of strategies for the emergence and evolution of grammatical agreement. PLoS ONE, 8(3).

Bhatia, T. K. (2010). Punjabi: A cognitive-descriptive grammar. Routledge.

Bickerton, D. (1990). Language and species. Chicago University Press.

Bybee, J. L. (2013). Usage-based theory and exemplar representation of constructions. In T. Hoffman & G. Trousdale (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of construction grammar (pp. 46-69). Oxford University Press.

Bybee, J. L., & Beckner, C. (2015). Usage-based theory. In B. Heine & H. Narrag (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of linguistic analysis (2nd ed., pp. 953-980). Oxford University Press.

Bybee, J., & Thompson, S. (1997). Three frequency effects in syntax. In M. L. Luge & J. L. Moxley (Eds.), Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, 23, 378-388. https://doi.org/10.3765/bls.

Croft, W. (1990). Typology and universals. Cambridge University Press.

Dutton, T. E. (1996). Koiari. Lincom Europa.

Grice, P. (1975). Logic and conversation. Studies in the way of words. Harvard University Press.

Haiman, J. (1983). Iconic and economic motivation. Language, 59(4), 781-819.

Haiman, J. (1985). Natural syntax. Cambridge University Press.

Haspelmath, M. (2008). Frequency vs. iconicity in explaining grammatical asymmetries. Cognitive Linguistics, 19(1), 1-33.

Hawkins, J. A. (2004). Efficiency and complexity in grammars. Oxford University Press.

Kuteva, T., Heine, B., Hong, B., Long, H., Narrog, H., & Rhee, S. (2019). World lexicon of grammaticalization (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Lakoff, G. (1987). Women, fire, and dangerous things: What categories reveal about the mind. The University of Chicago Press.

Lakusta, L. (2005). Source and goal asymmetry in non-linguistic motion event representations [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. The John Hopkins University.

Lakusta, L., & Landau. B. (2012). Language and memory for motion events: Origins of the asymmetry between source and goal paths. Cognitive Science, 36(3), 517-544.

Lass, R. (1997). Historical linguistics and language change. Cambridge University Press.

Lestrade, S. (2018). The emergence of differential case marking. In I. A. Seržant & A. Witzlack-Makarevich (Eds.), Diachrony of differential argument marking (pp. 481-508). Language Science Press.

Masad, D., & Kazil, J. (2015). Mesa: An agent-based modeling framework. Proceedings of the Python in Science Conference, 14, 51-58. http://doi.org/10.25080/Majora-7b98e3ed-009

Pauw, S., & Hilferty, J. (2012). The emergence of quantifiers. In L. Steels (Ed.), Experiments in cultural language evolution (pp. 277-304). John Benjamins.

Premack, D., & Woodruff, G. (1978). Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind? Behavioral and brain sciences, 1(4), 515-526.

Regier, T., & Zheng, M. (2007). Attention to endpoints: A cross-linguistic constraint on spatial meaning. Cognitive Science, 31(4), 705-719.

Rosenbach, A. (2002). Genitive variation in English: conceptual factors in synchronic and diachronic studies. Mouton de Gruyter.

Rosenblatt, F. (1958). The perceptron: A probabilistic model for information storage and organization in the brain. Psychological Review, 65(6), 386-408.

Smith, K. (2012). Why formal models are useful for evolutionary linguists. In M. Tallerman & K. R. Gibson (Eds.), Oxford handbook of language evolution (pp. 581-588). Oxford University Press.

Spranger, M. (2016). The evolution of grounded spatial language. Language Science Press.

Steels, L. (2006). How to do experiments in artificial language evolution and why. In A. Cangelosi, A. Smith, & K. Smith (Eds.), Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on the Evolution of Language. World Scientific Publishing.

Steels, L. (2012). Introduction: Self-organization and selection in cultural language evolution. In L. Steels (Ed.), Experiments in cultural language evolution (pp. 1-37). John Benjamins.

Steels, L. (2017). Human language is a culturally evolving system. Psychonomic bulletin & review, 24(1), 190-193.

Stefanowitsch, A. (2018). The goal bias revisited: A collostructional approach. Yearbook of the German Cognitive Linguistics Association, 6(1), 143-166.

Stefanowitsch, A., & Rohde, A. (2004). The goal bias in the encoding of motion events. In G. Radden & K. Panther (Eds.), Studies in linguistic motivation (pp. 249-268). Walter de Gruyter.

Stolz, T., Lestrade, S., & Stolz, C. (2014). The crosslinguistics of zero-marking of spatial relations. De Gruyter.

Tamariz, M., & Kirby, S. (2016). The cultural evolution of language. Current Opinions in Psychology, 8, 37-43.

The Pandas Development Team. (2020). Pandas 1.1.4. Zenedo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4161697

van Trijp, R. (2017). The evolution of case grammar. Language Science Press.

Virtanen, P., Gommers, R., Oliphant, T. E., Haberland, M., Reddy, T., Cournapeau, D., Burovski, E., Peterson, P., Weckesser, W., Bright, J., Walt, S., Brett, M., Wilson, J., Millman, K. J., Mayorov, N., Nelson, A., Jones, E., Kern, R., Larson, E., … Scipy 1.0 Contributors. (2020). Scipy 1.0: Fundamental algorithms for scientific computing on Python. Nature Methods, 17(3), 261-272.

Wonnacott, E. (2011). Balancing generalization and lexical conservatism: An artificial language study with child learners. Journal of Memory and Language, 65(1), 1-14.

Wonnacott, E., Newport, E. L., & Tenenhaus, M. K. (2008). Acquiring and processing verb argument structure: Distributional learning in a miniature language. Cognitive Psychology, 56(3), 165-209.

Zipf, G. K. (1935). The psycho-biology of language. Houghton-Mifflin.

Zipf, G. K. (1949). Human behavior and the principle of least effort. Addison-Wesley Press.