- Semantic Approximation And Its Effect On The Development Of Lexical Conventions
- The 11th International Conference The Evolution of Language
- Book/source title
- The evolution of language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Conference contribution
- Interfacultary Research Institutes
- Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC)
We define a signaling games setting for investigating how short- and long-term conventions are established in a community of interacting speakers. Using simulations, we model a particular type of non-literal use of linguistic expressions, semantic approximation, and investigate its effects on lexical alignment, ambiguity, polysemy, and communicative success. Critically, in our approach agents do not only keep track of a lexicon reflecting conventions at the level of the community, but also of a discourse lexicon that stores information agreed upon by the participants in a specific dialogue. We find that semantic approximation creates opportunities for discourse-level lexicalization, which boosts the expected utility of the discourse lexicon, and that it can have a profound effect on the evolution of community-level lexical resources.
- Final publisher version
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