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Morten Christiansen: Memory limits help shape language

Prof. Morten Christiansen

Dept. of Psychology

Cornell University

A hallmark of human language is our ability to produce and understand an infinite number of different sentences, by constructing sentences from reusable parts. This ability has long intrigued language scientists and a new experiment, the results of which have just been published in PLoS ONE,  has revealed just how memory limitations might work to give rise to our system of reusable linguistic patterns.