Regularity in Mappings Between Signals and Meanings

Monica Tamariz, Andrew D. M. Smith

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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    We combine information theory and cross-situational learning to develop a novel metric for quantifying the degree of regularity in the mappings between signals and meanings that can be inferred from exposure to language in context. We illustrate this metric using the results of two artificial language learning experiments, which show that learners are sensitive, with a high level of individual variation, to systematic regularities in the input. Analysing language using this measure of regularity allows us to explore in detail how language learning and language use can both generate linguistic variation, leading to language change, and potentially complexify language structure, leading to qualitative language evolution.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on the Evolution of Language
    EditorsAndrew D. M. Smith, Kenny Smith, Ramon Ferrer i Cancho
    PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Electronic)978-981-4472-49-4
    ISBN (Print)978-981-277-611-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    Event7th International Conference on the Evolution of Language - Barcelona, Spain
    Duration: 11 Mar 200815 Mar 2008


    Conference7th International Conference on the Evolution of Language
    Abbreviated titleEvoLang 7


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