About this Research Topic
The evaluation of emergentist proposals requires methods that integrate data types to understand competing constraints and motivations. For example, the articulation of neuroemergentist models requires the investigation of developmental changes in the structure of the brain and the body in individuals with both normal and atypical developmental trajectories. To take another example, the articulation of emergentist accounts for second language learning requires close attention to positive and negative transfer, how transfer can be distinguished from L2 learning, and how age of acquisition interacts with L2 proficiency in impacting the outcome of L2 learning. Similarly, emergentist approaches to language change need to consider the dynamics of language processing, constraints from the body and the brain, varieties of conversational interactions, and patterns of social diffusion.
For this article collection, we invite papers that examine any of these issues, particularly including those that propose specific mechanisms of emergence and the ways in which these mechanisms interact with competing constraints derived from features of the input and the nature of the brain and body.
Keywords: language learning, competition, usage-based theory, emergentism, neuroemergentism, language change, language evolution, language processing, second language acquisition, L2 acquisition, embodied cognition, connectionism, computational modeling, corpus analysis
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