Statistical physics of language dynamics

Loreto, V., Baronchelli, A., Mukherjee, A., Puglisi, A. & Tria, F. (2011). Statistical physics of language dynamics. Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment, 2011(4), P04006. doi: 10.1088/1742-5468/2011/04/P04006

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Abstract

Language dynamics is a rapidly growing field that focuses on all processes related to the emergence, evolution, change and extinction of languages. Recently, the study of self-organization and evolution of language and meaning has led to the idea that a community of language users can be seen as a complex dynamical system, which collectively solves the problem of developing a shared communication framework through the back-and-forth signaling between individuals.

We shall review some of the progress made in the past few years and highlight potential future directions of research in this area. In particular, the emergence of a common lexicon and of a shared set of linguistic categories will be discussed, as examples corresponding to the early stages of a language. The extent to which synthetic modeling is nowadays contributing to the ongoing debate in cognitive science will be pointed out. In addition, the burst of growth of the web is providing new experimental frameworks. It makes available a huge amount of resources, both as novel tools and data to be analyzed, allowing quantitative and large-scale analysis of the processes underlying the emergence of a collective information and language dynamics.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Divisions: School of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences > Department of Mathematical Science
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/13937

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