Lexical evolution, cognition, and computation

AbstractHuman languages evolve over time, manifested in changes in phonology, morphology, syntax, and word meaning. Compared to other components of language where there are rich formal characterizations of change, evolution of word meaning remains poorly understood. How do semantic systems in specific domains such as color or number evolve over time? Further, are there overarching principles that emerge across domains and that underlie the evolution of the lexicon at large? And can we advance the characterization and evaluation of these principles by exploiting emerging resources, e.g., those from the digital humanities, using formal methodologies, e.g., those from the computational disciplines? The goal of this symposium is to address these questions.


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