The cognitive prerequisites for language: Insights from iterated learning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human languages are transmitted by iterated learning: we learn the language of our speech community by observing language use in communicative interaction,and then in turn we produce linguistic behaviours which become the basis for learning in others. Computational and experimental models of iterated learning showthat linguistic structure (including compositional structure, which underpins the open-ended expressivity of human language) evolves on a cultural timescale as a resultof this iterated learning process. I consider the implications of this work for our understanding of the cognitive capacities required to support linguistic structure,highlighting the importance of the capacities to acquire compositionally-structure dmeaning-signal mappings from data, and to reason about the minds of others during learning and use
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-160
JournalCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
Early online date6 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'The cognitive prerequisites for language: Insights from iterated learning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this