Overview article

An emergenist perspective of language origin: the computational modeling of language evolution


Ali Rahimi


Kashan University, Iran


Hamzeh Haghighi


Kashan University, Iran


The developmental psychology, cognitive sciences, and neurosciences try to understand how language is acquired and processed by humans at present. The researchers in these areas are interested in language origin in order to inform their theories. In addition to these empirical studies, computer modeling has joined the endeavor in recent years. This paper will focus on two areas. That is, we are connected with ways in which the study of language acquisition can contribute to explaining language origin from an emergenist perspective, and how computer modeling as a new methodology can be used for such purposes. It discusses how the study of language acquisition can contribute to the inquiry, in particular when computer modeling is adopted as the research methodology. Two important features of emergence, heterogeneity and nonlinearity, are demonstrated in the model.


emergenist; computational modeling; language evolution; heterogeneity; nonlinearity; language acquisition

Publication Date

June 1, 2008


Volume 2, Issue 1

Citation information

Rahimi, Ali, and Hamzeh Haghighi. 2008. “An emergenist perspective of language origin: the computational modeling of language evolution.” Language. Text. Society 2 (1): e1-e14. (Journal title at the time of publication: SamaraAltLinguo E-Journal.)


author = {Rahimi, Ali and Haghighi, Hamzeh},
title = {{An emergenist perspective of language origin: the computational modeling of language evolution}},
journal = {Language. Text. Society},
year = {2008},
volume = {2},
number = {1},
pages = {1–14},
url = {},


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