Evolution optimization and language change: the case of Bengali verb inflections

Monojit Choudhury, Vaibhav Jalan, Sudeshna Sarkar, and Anupam Basu

Abstract

The verb inflections of Bengali underwenta series of phonological change between 10th and 18th centuries, which gave rise to several modern dialects of the language. In this paper, we offer a functional explanation for this change by quantifying the functional pressures of ease of articulation, perceptual contrast and learnability through objective functions or constraints, or both. The multi-objective and multi-constraint optimization problem has been solved through genetic algorithm, whereby we have observed the emergence of Pareto-optimal dialects in the system that closely resemble some of the real ones.

Details

Publication typeInproceedings
Published inProceedings of ACL SIGMORPHON9
URLhttp://aclweb.org/anthology-new/W/W07/W07-1309.pdf
Pages65-74
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics
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