I'm just talking with my generation: The crucial role of the first peer group in modeling initial lexical consensus

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I'm just talking with my generation: The crucial role of the first peer group in modeling initial lexical consensus

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Title: I'm just talking with my generation: The crucial role of the first peer group in modeling initial lexical consensus
Author: Allen, Kristen Carol
Advisor: Dinkin, Aaron J.
Department: Swarthmore College. Dept. of Linguistics
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: This paper focuses on the role of peer-provided input to language learners as an essential ingredient in language development, and calls attention to the repeated oversight of this influence in artificial models of the process. Examining the case of Nicaraguan Sign Language, I show an instance of language creation that is both extremely quick—nearing completion after two half-generations of learners—and whose first growth is exclusively peer-to-peer. Studying the work of several authors, I explore productive proposals of modeling various aspects of language acquisition and linguistic change, but when compared to the speed of real language nascence, all of these attempts are lacking. Building from these simulations, and in light of the evidence from Nicaraguan Sign Language, I suggest a new model, focusing on the tools that must be given to learners in order for a single generation to create a simple system of language. In imitating the specialized learning methods of K. Smith (2002), I demonstrate the capacity of a single peer group to establish a lexicon that is communal though limited in size.
Terms of Use: Full copyright to this work is retained by the student author. It may only be used for non-commercial, research, and educational purposes. All other uses are restricted.
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/9305

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Allen, Kristen Carol. "I'm just talking with my generation: The crucial role of the first peer group in modeling initial lexical consensus". 2012. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/9305.

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