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  Cultural evolution of precise and agreed-upon semantic conventions in a multiplayer gaming app

Morin, O., Müller, T. F., Morisseau, T., & Winters, J. (2022). Cultural evolution of precise and agreed-upon semantic conventions in a multiplayer gaming app. Cognitive Science, 46(2): e13113, pp. 1-26. doi:10.1111/cogs.13113.

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Supplementary Methods, Supplementary results (Supplementary material)
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pdf. - (last seen: March 2022)

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 Creators:
Morin, Olivier1, Author              
Müller, Thomas F., Author
Morisseau, Tiffany, Author
Winters, James, 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; Sense entropy; Lexical semantics; Zipf’s Law of Meaning; Experimental semiotics
 Abstract: The amount of information conveyed by linguistic conventions depends on their precision, yet the codes that humans and other animals use to communicate are quite ambiguous: they may map several vague meanings to the same symbol. How does semantic precision evolve, and what are the constraints that limit it? We address this question using a multiplayer gaming app, where individuals communicate with one another in a scaled-up referential game. Here, the goal is for a sender to use black and white symbols to communicate colors. We expected that the players’ mappings between symbols and colors would grow more specific over time, through a selection process whereby precise mappings are preferentially copied. We found that players become increasingly more precise in their use of symbols over the course of their interactions. This trend did not, however, result from selective copying of precise mappings. We explore the implications of this result for the study of lexical ambiguity, Zipf's Law of Meaning, and disagreements over semantic conventions.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2022-02-172022-02
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 26
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: 1. Introduction
2. Methods
2.1. Preregistration
3. Results
3.1. Prediction 0: High-precision symbols are more popular, especially with experienced players
3.2. Prediction 1: More experienced players are more likely to use symbols precisely
3.3. Alternative ways to measure entropy
3.4. Prediction 2: Frequent symbols are agreed-upon
4. Discussion
5. Conclusion
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1111/cogs.13113
Other: shh3147
 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: 46 (2) Sequence Number: e13113 Start / End Page: 1 - 26 Identifier: ISSN: 0364-0213
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925523741