English
 
User Manual Privacy Policy Disclaimer Contact us
  Advanced SearchBrowse

Item

ITEM ACTIONSEXPORT
  Contextual predictability shapes signal autonomy

Winters, J., Kirby, S., & Smith, K. (2018). Contextual predictability shapes signal autonomy. Cognition, 176, 15-30. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2018.03.002.

Item is

Basic

show hide
Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-E4D2-1 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-1696-C
Genre: Journal Article

Files

show Files
hide Files
:
shh966.pdf (Publisher version), 2MB
 
File Permalink:
-
Name:
shh966.pdf
Description:
-
Visibility:
Private
MIME-Type / Checksum:
application/pdf
Technical Metadata:
Copyright Date:
-
Copyright Info:
-
License:
-

Locators

show

Creators

show
hide
 Creators:
Winters, James1, Author              
Kirby, Simon, Author
Smith, Kenny, Author
Affiliations:
1The Mint, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2301700              

Content

show
hide
Free keywords: Language evolution
 Abstract: Abstract Aligning on a shared system of communication requires senders and receivers reach a balance between simplicity, where there is a pressure for compressed representations, and informativeness, where there is a pressure to be communicatively functional. We investigate the extent to which these two pressures are governed by contextual predictability: the amount of contextual information that a sender can estimate, and therefore exploit, in conveying their intended meaning. In particular, we test the claim that contextual predictability is causally related to signal autonomy: the degree to which a signal can be interpreted in isolation, without recourse to contextual information. Using an asymmetric communication game, where senders and receivers are assigned fixed roles, we manipulate two aspects of the referential context: (i) whether or not a sender shares access to the immediate contextual information used by the receiver in interpreting their utterance; (ii) the extent to which the relevant solution in the immediate referential context is generalisable to the aggregate set of contexts. Our results demonstrate that contextual predictability shapes the degree of signal autonomy: when the context is highly predictable (i.e., the sender has access to the context in which their utterances will be interpreted, and the semantic dimension which discriminates between meanings in context is consistent across communicative episodes), languages develop which rely heavily on the context to reduce uncertainty about the intended meaning. When the context is less predictable, senders favour systems composed of autonomous signals, where all potentially relevant semantic dimensions are explicitly encoded. Taken together, these results suggest that our pragmatic faculty, and how it integrates information from the context in reducing uncertainty, plays a central role in shaping language structure.

Details

show
hide
Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2018-03-102018
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 19
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.03.002
BibTex Citekey: Winters201815
 Degree: -

Event

show

Legal Case

show

Project information

show

Source 1

show
hide
Title: Cognition
  Other : Cognition
Source Genre: Journal
 Creator(s):
Affiliations:
Publ. Info: Amsterdam : Elsevier
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 176 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 15 - 30 Identifier: ISSN: 0010-0277
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925391298