Developing a theory for the origins and evolution of language is the goal of this lab’s research. Such a theory necessarily involves three aspects: social, cultural and biological. The social aspect should give us answers to the question “Why did humans start to talk?” The cultural aspect looks to explain how new language forms arise in language and continue to change over time. The biological aspect addresses how the biological foundations for language may have arisen. The Language Evolution lab focuses mostly on the cultural aspect, developing and testing agent-based models to explain how features of language, such as agreement systems, arise and culturally evolve.

Lab website: Language Evolution Lab

Principal Investigator Principal Investigator

Current members Current members

Publications Publications

Steels L.; Szathmáry E. 2018. The evolutionary dynamics of language. BioSystems. 164:128-137 doi: 10.1016/j.biosystems.2017.11.003


Steels L., Szathmáry E. 2018. The evolutionary dynamics of language. BioSystems. 164( ): 128-137 doi: 10.1016/j.biosystems.2017.11.003


Steels L. 2017. Basics of fluid construction grammar. Constructions and Frames. 9(2):178-225

Steels L. 2017. Requirements for computational construction grammars.. AAAI Spring Symposium - Technical Report. SS-17-01:251-257


Steels, L. 2017. Do languages evolve or merely change?Journal of Neurolinguistics 43:B, 199-203


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