Emergence and epiphenomena (5)

Rob Freeman lists at chaoticlanguage.com
Sun Mar 5 21:38:49 UTC 2006

On Sunday 05 March 2006 05:34, Salinas17 at aol.com wrote:
> In a message dated 3/3/06 4:38:39 PM, lists at chaoticlanguage.com writes:
> <<If anyone is interested in an implementation of this they can write to me
> and I can give them a model, right down to algorithms.>>
> Or you can summarize it here so the rest of the list can see it.  I don't
> suppose anyone would complain.

No point.

By way of flavor, though, I think contemporary work which attempts to explain 
language in terms of emergence, such as that of Joan Bybee (also Cognitive, 
Langacker, etc, and almost all exemplar-based or connectionist NLP) is 
chiefly limited by a failure to realize it is not enough that your model be 
based on generalizations of usage, you must also allow for the possibility of 
discontinuous change.

What evolves gradually is the corpus of usage. Grammar is in a state of 
constant, discontinuous change. It is that which is responsible for the 
novelty of syntax.


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