Social and Cultural Learning in the Evolution of Human Communication

  title={Social and Cultural Learning in the Evolution of Human Communication},
  author={Luc L. Steels},
In order to understand how human languages could have emerged and continuetoevolve, weneedaboveallexplanationsfortheenormousincreaseincomplexitycompared to animal communication systems. This increase has taken place forall aspects of language:1. Form: The repertoire of speech sounds used in human language is ex-traordinarily complex. It relies on an articulatory apparatus which needsto be controlled very fast and at a very fine-grained level. It requiresthe real-time processing of structured… 
Cooperation and the evolution of symbolic communication
Humans are the only animals who can deliberately plan for future needs. Our ability to have a ”theory of mind” is also a factor that facilitates advanced forms of cooperation and communication. The
A Practical Guide to Studying Emergent Communication through Grounded Language Games
A high-level robot interface that extends the Babel software system is introduced, presenting for the first time a toolkit that provides flexible modules for dealing with each subtask involved in running advanced grounded language game experiments.
Interstellar Intersubjectvity: The Significance of Shared Cognition for Communication, Empathy, and Altruism in Space
What kind of indispensable cognitive ability is needed for intelligence, sociability, communication, and technology to emerge on a habitable planet? My answer is simple: intersubjectivity. I stress
Natural Language and Digital Environments - Evolutionary Perspective
The mechanisms and driving forces of natural language evolution are explored and the frequency-based approach explaining the natural language change and variation can be effectively applied to the evolving formal systems (networks, knowledge spaces, dynamic interfaces, etc.).
Contextual bootstrapping for grammar learning
A computational model of child grammar learning using a probabilistic version of Embodied Construction Grammar (ECG) that demonstrates how the problem of impoverished input is alleviated through bootstrapping from the situational context is described.
Simplicity from complexity: emergence of cohesion in the evolutionary dynamics of grammar networks
If a grammar has limited mutational transitions to other grammars, one expects three, rather than two, distinctive grammar distributions at equilibrium, although different patterns of convergence, including a weak cohesion phase where the distribution of grammar frequencies is roughly Gaussian and centred on the most frequent grammar, emerge in more sparse grammar networks.
On the Plausibility of Intelligent Life on Other Worlds : A Cognitive-Semiotic Assessment of f i · f c · L
The apprehension of the last three factors of the Drake equation, fi · fc · L, is misguided or at least not very well examined. This article scrutinizes the underlying suppositions involved in the
On the Plausibility of Intelligent Life on Other Worlds
The apprehension of the last three factors of the Drake equation, fi · fc · L, is misguided or at least not very well examined. This article scrutinizes the underlying suppositions involved in the
Vocal culture and social stability in resident killer whales (Orcinus orca)
The link between vocal culture and social structure likely influences mate choice in resident killer whales and makes them excellent candidates for studies of cultural taxonomy.


Approaches To The Evolution Of Language: Social And Cognitive Bases
Language evolution and the minimalist program: the origins of syntax Robert C. Berwick, Michael Studdert-Kennedy, Chris Knight, and James R. Hurford.
The language instinct : the new science of language and mind
Simply by making noises with our mouths, we can reliably cause precise new combinations of ideas to arise in each other's minds. The ability comes so naturally that we are apt to forget what a
The Sounds of the World's Languages
Ladefoged and Maddieson (L&M) have set themselves the formidable task of giving “a description of all the known ways in which the sounds of the world’s languages differ,” in order to provide the
Lingua ex Machina: Reconciling Darwin and Chomsky with the Human Brain
A machine for language? Certainly, say the neurophysiologists, busy studying the language specializations of the human brain and trying to identify their evolutionary antecedents. Linguists such as
The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition
This work builds a bridge between evolutionary theory and cultural psychology. The author is one of very few people to have done systematic research on the cognitive capacities of both nonhuman
The social learning of language and meaning
This paper shows experiments that demonstrate why there has to be a causal role of language on category acquisition and leads effectively to the bootstrapping of communication and shows that other forms of learning do not generate categories usable in communication or make information assumptions which cannot be satisfied.
The Language Instinct: The New Science of Language and Mind
Language and Literature 1996 5 (1) 71-77 © Addison Wesley Longman Ltd 1996 0961-9470/96/05107071/S03-50 There still seem to be widespread misconceptions as to what linguistics actually is.
Linguistic Evolution through Language Acquisition: Formal and Computational Models.
This book is really two books, which do not communicate with each other once one gets past the editor’s introduction in chapter 1, and which use computer simulation to demonstrate that agents with no innate syntactic structure can interact to create and preserve both the lexicon and syntax of languages over many generations.
The transition to language
This book considers the nature of pre- and proto-linguistic communication, the internal and external triggers that led to its transformation into language, and whether and how language may be considered to have evolved after its inception.
On the Origin of Languages: Studies in Linguistic Taxonomy
This book presents a series of illuminating studies which conclusively demonstrates that the prevailing conception of historical linguistics is deeply flawed. Most linguists today believe that there