Spranger, M. Potential Stages in the Cultural Evolution of Spatial Language. The Evolution of Language (EVOLANG 9), 2012 accepted

Sony CSL authors: Michael Spranger


This paper investigates the function and formation of spatial language involving landmarks. We argue for two points. First, landmarks have an important function in spatial language. Agents that can use different landmarks and express their choice perform better than agents who cannot. Second, the use of landmarks has a positive effect on evolving systems of spatial relations. Agents that have the cognitive ability for using landmarks and agents that can express their choice of landmark are more successful in building spatial relation systems than those without. Based on this evidence the paper hypothesizes potential stages in the evolution of spatial language. Communicative success and in combination with environmental conditions can be driving forces for agents to go from a stage without landmarks to systems that allow arbitrary objects to be used as landmarks.

Keywords: spatial language, perspective, landmarks, cultural evolution


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BibTeX entry

@INPROCEEDINGS { spranger:12a, AUTHOR="Spranger, M.", BOOKTITLE="The Evolution of Language (EVOLANG 9)", NOTE="accepted", TITLE="Potential Stages in the Cultural Evolution of Spatial Language", YEAR="2012", }