Kaplan, F. Semiotic schemata: Selection units for linguistic cultural evolution. In Bedau, M and McCaskill, J. and Packard, N. and Rasmussen, S., editor, Proceedings of Artificial Life VII, pages 372-381, Cambridge, MA, 2000 The MIT Press.

Sony CSL authors: Frédéric Kaplan


Words, like genes, are replicators in competition to colonize our brains. Some, by luck or thanks to their intrinsic qualities, manage to spread in entire populations. In this paper we take the approach of cultural selectionism to study the emergence of communication systems in a population of agents. By studying simple models of word competition in noisy environments, we define the basic dynamics of such systems. We then argue for their generality and introduce the notion of semiotic schemata, generic replicators that account for the different competitions that are going on during lexicon formation. Eventually, we present a synthesis of the dynamics using this new formalism.

Keywords: cultural evolution, evolutionary linguistics, artificial life, semiotics


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@INPROCEEDINGS { kaplan:00b, ADDRESS="Cambridge, MA", AUTHOR="Kaplan, F.", BOOKTITLE="Proceedings of Artificial Life VII", EDITOR="Bedau, M and McCaskill, J. and Packard, N. and Rasmussen, S.", PAGES="372--381", PUBLISHER="The MIT Press", TITLE="Semiotic schemata: Selection units for linguistic cultural evolution", YEAR="2000", }