The interactive origin of iconicity

Monica Tamariz, Sean Roberts, Isidro Martinez, Julio Santiago de Torres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We investigate the emergence of iconicity, specifically a bouba-­kiki effect in miniature artificial languages under different functional constraints: when the languages are reproduced, and when they are used communicatively. We ran transmission chains of (a) participant dyads who played an interactive communicative game and (b) individual participants who played a matched learning game. An analysis of the languages over six generations in an iterated learning experiment revealed that in the communication condition, but not in the reproduction condition, words for spiky shapes tend to be rated by naive judges as more spiky than the words for round shapes. This suggests that iconicity may not only be the outcome of innovations introduced by individuals, but, crucially, the result of interlocutor negotiation of new communicative conventions. We interpret our results as an illustration of cultural evolution by random mutation and selection (as opposed to by guided variation).
Original languageEnglish
JournalCognitive Science
StateAccepted/In press - 2017

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language
playing
participant
learning
individual
Learning
dyad
reproduction
convention
judge
negotiation
emergence
generation
innovation
selection
constraint
evolution
experiment
effect
analysis

Keywords

  • iconicity
  • iterated learning
  • communication

Cite this

Tamariz, M., Roberts, S., Martinez, I., & Santiago de Torres, J. (2017). The interactive origin of iconicity. Cognitive Science.

Tamariz, Monica; Roberts, Sean; Martinez, Isidro; Santiago de Torres, Julio / The interactive origin of iconicity.

In: Cognitive Science, 2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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title = "The interactive origin of iconicity",
keywords = "iconicity, iterated learning, communication",
author = "Monica Tamariz and Sean Roberts and Isidro Martinez and {Santiago de Torres}, Julio",
year = "2017",
journal = "Cognitive Science",
issn = "0364-0213",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",

}

Tamariz, M, Roberts, S, Martinez, I & Santiago de Torres, J 2017, 'The interactive origin of iconicity' Cognitive Science.

The interactive origin of iconicity. / Tamariz, Monica; Roberts, Sean; Martinez, Isidro; Santiago de Torres, Julio.

In: Cognitive Science, 2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The interactive origin of iconicity

AU - Tamariz,Monica

AU - Roberts,Sean

AU - Martinez,Isidro

AU - Santiago de Torres,Julio

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - We investigate the emergence of iconicity, specifically a bouba-­kiki effect in miniature artificial languages under different functional constraints: when the languages are reproduced, and when they are used communicatively. We ran transmission chains of (a) participant dyads who played an interactive communicative game and (b) individual participants who played a matched learning game. An analysis of the languages over six generations in an iterated learning experiment revealed that in the communication condition, but not in the reproduction condition, words for spiky shapes tend to be rated by naive judges as more spiky than the words for round shapes. This suggests that iconicity may not only be the outcome of innovations introduced by individuals, but, crucially, the result of interlocutor negotiation of new communicative conventions. We interpret our results as an illustration of cultural evolution by random mutation and selection (as opposed to by guided variation).

AB - We investigate the emergence of iconicity, specifically a bouba-­kiki effect in miniature artificial languages under different functional constraints: when the languages are reproduced, and when they are used communicatively. We ran transmission chains of (a) participant dyads who played an interactive communicative game and (b) individual participants who played a matched learning game. An analysis of the languages over six generations in an iterated learning experiment revealed that in the communication condition, but not in the reproduction condition, words for spiky shapes tend to be rated by naive judges as more spiky than the words for round shapes. This suggests that iconicity may not only be the outcome of innovations introduced by individuals, but, crucially, the result of interlocutor negotiation of new communicative conventions. We interpret our results as an illustration of cultural evolution by random mutation and selection (as opposed to by guided variation).

KW - iconicity

KW - iterated learning

KW - communication

M3 - Article

JO - Cognitive Science

T2 - Cognitive Science

JF - Cognitive Science

SN - 0364-0213

ER -

Tamariz M, Roberts S, Martinez I, Santiago de Torres J. The interactive origin of iconicity. Cognitive Science. 2017.