Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Type: Conference paper
Title: Language evolution is shaped by the structure of the world: an iterated learning analysis
Author: Perfors, A.
Navarro, D.
Citation: Expanding the Space of Cognitive Science, Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 2011, pp.477-482
Publisher: Cognitive Science Society
Publisher Place: Austin, TX, USA
Issue Date: 2011
ISBN: 9780976831877
Conference Name: Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci) (20 Jul 2011 - 23 Jul 2011 : Boston, Massachusetts)
Statement of
Amy Perfors, Daniel Navarro
Abstract: Human languages vary in many ways, but also show striking cross-linguistic universals. Why do these universals exist? Recent theoretical results demonstrate that Bayesian learners transmitting language to each other through iterated learning will converge on a distribution of languages that depends only on their prior biases about language and the quantity of data transmitted at each point; the structure of the world being communicated about plays no role (Griffiths & Kalish, 2005, 2007). We revisit these findings and show that when certain assumptions about the independence of languages and the world are abandoned, learners will converge to languages that depend on the structure of the world as well as their prior biases. These theoretical results are supported with a series of experiments showing that when human learners acquire language through iterated learning, the ultimate structure of those languages is shaped by the structure of the meanings to be communicated.
Keywords: language evolution; iterated learning; Bayesian modeling; linguistic structure
Rights: © Authors
Grant ID:
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 7
Psychology publications

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
hdl_88149.pdfPublished version261.21 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.