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  The influence of shared visual context on the successful emergence of conventions in a referential communication task

Müller, T. F., Winters, J., & Morin, O. (2019). The influence of shared visual context on the successful emergence of conventions in a referential communication task. Cognitive Science, 43(9): e12783, pp. 1-29. doi:10.1111/cogs.12783.

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Genre: Journal Article

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https://osf.io/ts4ka/files/ (Supplementary material)
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All data and R code are available on the Open Science Framework. (last seen Oct. 2020)

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 Creators:
Müller, Thomas F.1, Author              
Winters, James1, Author              
Morin, Olivier1, Author              
Affiliations:
1The Mint, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2301700              

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Free keywords: Language evolution, Shared context, Artificial language, Referential communication, Convention, Language emergence
 Abstract: Abstract Human communication is thoroughly context bound. We present two experiments investigating the importance of the shared context, that is, the amount of knowledge two interlocutors have in common, for the successful emergence and use of novel conventions. Using a referential communication task where black-and-white pictorial symbols are used to convey colors, pairs of participants build shared conventions peculiar to their dyad without experimenter feedback, relying purely on ostensive-inferential communication. Both experiments demonstrate that access to the visual context promotes more successful communication. Importantly, success improves cumulatively, supporting the view that pairs establish conventional ways of using the symbols to communicate. Furthermore, Experiment 2 suggests that dyads with access to the visual context successfully adapt the conventions built for one color space to another color space, unlike dyads lacking it. In linking experimental pragmatics with language evolution, the study illustrates the benefits of exploring the emergence of linguistic conventions using an ostensive-inferential model of communication.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2019-09-082019-09
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 29
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: 1. Introduction
1.1. Artificial language experiments and the emergence problem
1.2. Referential communication tasks and interaction
1.3. The current study
1.4. Ethical approval and preregistration

2. Experiment 1
2.1. Method
2.1.1. Participants
2.1.2. Materials
2.1.3. Procedure
2.1.4. Experimental task
2.2. Results
2.2.1. Does the shared visual context improve communicative success and do pairs improve over time?
2.2.2. Exploration of the questionnaires
2.3. Discussion

3. Experiment 2
3.1. Method
3.1.1. Participants
3.1.2. Materials
3.1.3. Procedure
3.2. Results
3.2.1. Can the results of Experiment 1 be replicated?
3.2.2. Does the shared visual context increase the number of conventions?
3.2.3. Are conventions developed by shared visual context pairs more generalizable?
3.3. Discussion

4. General discussion

5. Conclusion
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1111/cogs.12783
Other: shh2400
 Degree: -

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Title: Cognitive Science
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Kidlington, Oxford, UK [etc.] : No longer published by Elsevier
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 43 (9) Sequence Number: e12783 Start / End Page: 1 - 29 Identifier: ISSN: 0364-0213
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925523741