Research Limitations

4. Research Limitations

The models mentioned in the previous pages make very weak assumptions about the transmission process itself: no language is easier or harder for learners to acquire than any other. The need for fitness – being able to communicate effectively with others – can be said to be the driving force in the dynamics of, rather than learning.

In addition, computational models might not be able to match the abilities and biases of real human learners to a realistic extent. The use of modern humans is inevitable in laboratory experiments; it is hard for us to determine what humans were like at the point when language emerged. However, it is worth noting replicating the evolutionary history of language is not the objective of such experimental approaches.