Predicting Pragmatic Reasoning in Language Games

  title={Predicting Pragmatic Reasoning in Language Games},
  author={Michael C. Frank and Noah D. Goodman},
  pages={998 - 998}
Who's Who Different languages rely on distinct sets of terminology to classify relatives, such as maternal grandfather in English, and precision in language usage is a key component for successful communication (see the Perspective by Levinson). Kemp and Regier (p. 1049) propose an organizing framework whereby kinship classification systems can all be seen to optimize or nearly optimize both simplicity and precision. The labels applied to kin are constructed from simple units and are precise… 
Incrementality and efficiency shape pragmatics across languages
It is concluded that incrementality and efficiency guide pragmatic reasoning across languages, with different word orders having different pragmatic affordances.
Pragmatic Language Interpretation as Probabilistic Inference
Comparing Models of Associative Meaning: An Empirical Investigation of Reference in Simple Language Games
It is found that listeners’ behavior reflects direct bigram collocational associations more strongly than word-embedding or semantic knowledge graph-based associations and that there is little evidence for pragmatically sophisticated behavior on the part of either speakers or listeners in this simplified version of the popular game Codenames.
A Psycholinguistic Model for the Marking of Discourse Relations
A psycholinguistic model is proposed that predicts whether or not speakers will produce an explicit marker given the discourse relation they wish to express and quantifies the utility of using or omitting a DC based on the expected surprisal of comprehension, cost of production, and availability of other signals in the rest of the utterance.
Predicting pragmatic cue integration in adults’ and children’s inferences about novel word meanings
Language is learned in complex social settings where listeners must reconstruct speakers’ intended meanings from context. To navigate this challenge, children can use pragmatic reasoning to learn the
Reevaluating pragmatic reasoning in language games
It is found that although RSA provides a strong fit to listener responses, it does not perform better than the baseline literal listener model, and in the majority of conditions that are amenable to pragmatic reasoning, RSA predicts that listeners will behave non-pragmatically.
A Minimal Parsimonious Model of Pragmatic Comprehension
This paper proposes an alternative computational modeling approach, derived from the popular Rational Speech Act (RSA) theory, that makes fewer and simpler assumptions about pragmatic comprehension and accounts for a wide range of pragmatic phenomena without requiring ad hoc modifications or theoretically unmotivated assumptions.
Learning to refer informatively by amortizing pragmatic reasoning
This work explores the idea that speakers might learn to amortize the cost of RSA computation over time by directly optimizing for successful communication with an internal listener model, and finds that this amortized model is able to quickly generate language that is effective and concise across a range of contexts, without the need for explicit pragmatic reasoning.
The special status of color in pragmatic reasoning: evidence from a language game
This work shows that like speakers, listeners treat color differently from other properties like e.g. size, and suggests that listeners do not seem to perform much pragmatic reasoning when the referring expression only expresses color, but instead follow a simple saliencebased heuristic.
Polite Speech Emerges From Competing Social Goals
It is shown that polite speech emerges from the competition of three communicative goals: to convey information, to be kind, and to present oneself in a good light, and a probabilistic model of utterance production is used, which predicts human utterance choices in socially sensitive situations with high quantitative accuracy.


Game theory in semantics and pragmatics
The interpretation of linguistic utterances is determined by the words involved and the way they are combined, but not exclusively so. Establishing the content that is communicated by an utterance is
Presumptive Meanings: The theory of generalized conversational implicature
From the Publisher: When we speak, we mean more than we say. In this book Stephen C. Levinson explains some general processes that underlie presumptions in communication. This is the first extended
Word learning as Bayesian inference.
The authors present a Bayesian framework for understanding how adults and children learn the meanings of words. The theory explains how learners can generalize meaningfully from just one or a few
Computational Interpretations of the Gricean Maxims in the Generation of Referring Expressions
A recommended algorithm is described, along with a specification of the resources a host system must provide in order to make use of the algorithm, and an implementation used in the natural language generation component of the IDAS system.
Universal Implicatures and Free Choice Effects: Experimental Data
Universal inferences like (i) have been taken as evidence for a local/syntactic treatment of scalar implicatures (i.e. theories where the enrichment of "some" into "some but not all" can happen
Ad-hoc scalar implicature in adults and children
The origins of scalar implicature, and the nature of scales, are investigated using tasks in which the scale arises from real-world context rather than conventional contrasts be- tween lexical items and an account of pragmatic implicatures must integrate world knowledge, linguistic structure, and social reasoning is concluded.
Experimental Evidence for Embedded Scalar Implicatures
Using a novel version of the truth value judgment tasks, this work provides evidence that subjects sometimes compute embedded scalar implicatures.
Utility and Relevance of Answers
The goal of the first part is to derive a measure of utility for answers from a game theoretic model of communication, and to account for a number of judgements about the appropriateness of partial and mention-some answers.
Too Many Alternatives: Density, Symmetry and Other Predicaments
In a recent paper, Martin Hackl and I identified a variety of circumstances where scalar implicatures, questions, definite descriptions, and sentences with the focus particle only are absent or