Vogt, P. and de Boer, B. (2010) Editorial: Language Evolution: Computer models for Empirical Data Adaptive Behavior 18(1): 5-11 Online contents
Abstract This methodological article serves as an introduction to this special issue, which is meant to encourage more and better interaction between empirical studies and computer modeling with regard to the study of language evolution. We argue that research into the field of language evolution is so complex that computer modeling forms an essential tool to generate predictions based on some, possibly descriptive, theory in order to falsify that theory. Falsification should be carried out by comparing the generated predictions with empirical data. In order to improve the quality of the predictions and thus the reliability of the falsification process, we stress the importance of initializing the computer model with empirical data. The papers in this special issue provide some concrete examples and new proposals of applying the suggested methodology.