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The Social Origins of Language

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Presents a new theoretical framework for the origins of human language and sets key issues in language evolution in their wider context within biological and cultural evolution


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Preposition Placement in English: A Usage-Based Approach

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Academic Paper


Title: The Self-Organization of Speech Sounds
Paper URL: http://www.csl.sony.fr/~py/publications.htm
Author: Pierre-Yves Oudeyer
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.csl.sony.fr/~py
Institution: Sony Computer Science Laboratory, Paris
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Computational Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Neurolinguistics; Sociolinguistics
Abstract: The speech code is a vehicle of language: it defines a set of forms used by a/L/community to carry information. Such a code is necessary to support the linguistic/L/interactions that allow humans to communicate. How then may a speech code be/L/formed prior to the existence of linguistic interactions? Moreover, the human speech/L/code is discrete and compositional, shared by all the individuals of a community/L/but different across communities, and phoneme inventories are characterized by/L/statistical regularities. How can a speech code with these properties form?/L/We try to approach these questions in the paper, using the "methodology of/L/the artificial". We build a society of artificial agents, and detail a mechanism that/L/shows the formation of a discrete speech code without pre-supposing the existence/L/of linguistic capacities or of coordinated interactions. The mechanism is based on/L/a low-level model of sensory-motor interactions. We show that the integration of/L/certain very simple and non language-specific neural devices leads to the formation/L/of a speech code that has properties similar to the human speech code. This result/L/relies on the self-organizing properties of a generic coupling between perception and/L/production within agents, and on the interactions between agents. The artificial/L/system helps us to develop better intuitions on how speech might have appeared,/L/by showing how self-organization might have helped natural selection to find speech.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: Journal of Theoretical Biology
Publication Info: Oudeyer, P-Y. (2005) The Self-Organization of Speech Sounds, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 233(3), pp. 435--449.
URL: http://www.csl.sony.fr/~py/publications.htm


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