Article

Robotics and embodied agent modelling of the evolution of language

Angelo Cangelosi

in The Oxford Handbook of Language Evolution

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199541119
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199541119.013.0062

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Robotics and embodied agent modelling of the evolution of language

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A robotic and embodied approach to the modeling of the evolution of language addresses various aspects of language origins such as prelinguistic social coordination, signaling behavior, and the emergence of compositional lexicons. Robot language experiments typically involve tasks in which the robots must communicate about objects and entities in the environment, about their physical interaction with objects, and about their body posture. Embodied agents are multiagent systems in which a population of simulated agents live in a shared environment, can receive visual, auditory, and tactile information about the world, and can act on it. These experiments typically involve communication about spatial navigation and foraging tasks. Robotic and embodied agent models have made significant contributions to the understanding of genetic and cultural evolution dynamics in language origins, where both the semantic system and the lexicon interact and co-adapt during linguistic evolution. Robotics models have mostly focused on the emergence of shared lexicons through cultural evolution. Simulated embodied agent models have mostly investigated the genetic evolution of shared languages. Simulation models of embodied agents have been employed to model the genetic evolution of shared lexicons. The embodied modeling approach has also been employed specifically to look at the evolutionary emergence of syntax, with particular focus on compositionality. Embodied multiagent systems have also been used for modeling the cultural evolution of syntax.

Keywords: evolution of language; prelinguistic social coordination; signaling behavior; simulated embodied agent models; shared lexicons; emergence of syntax

Article.  2274 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Language Evolution

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