98-704 Marzio Cassandro, Pierre Collet, Antonio Galves and Charlotte Galves
A Statistical-Physics Approach to Language Acquisition and Language Change (132K, Postscript) Nov 10, 98
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Abstract. The aim of this paper is to explain why Statistical Physics can help understanding two related linguistic questions. The first question is how to model first language acquisition by a child. The second question is how language change proceeds in time. Our approach is based on a Gibbsian model for the interface between syntax and prosody. We also present a simulated annealing model of language acquisition, which extends the Triggering Learning Algorithm recently introduced in the linguistic litterature.

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