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Aging in language dynamics.

Mukherjee A, Tria F, Baronchelli A, Puglisi A, Loreto V - PLoS ONE (2011)

Bottom Line: The observed emerging asymptotic categorization, which has been previously tested--with success--against experimental data from human languages, corresponds to a metastable state where global shifts are always possible but progressively more unlikely and the response properties depend on the age of the system.This aging mechanism exhibits striking quantitative analogies to what is observed in the statistical mechanics of glassy systems.We argue that this can be a general scenario in language dynamics where shared linguistic conventions would not emerge as attractors, but rather as metastable states.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Scientific Interchange (ISI), Torino, Italy.

ABSTRACT
Human languages evolve continuously, and a puzzling problem is how to reconcile the apparent robustness of most of the deep linguistic structures we use with the evidence that they undergo possibly slow, yet ceaseless, changes. Is the state in which we observe languages today closer to what would be a dynamical attractor with statistically stationary properties or rather closer to a non-steady state slowly evolving in time? Here we address this question in the framework of the emergence of shared linguistic categories in a population of individuals interacting through language games. The observed emerging asymptotic categorization, which has been previously tested--with success--against experimental data from human languages, corresponds to a metastable state where global shifts are always possible but progressively more unlikely and the response properties depend on the age of the system. This aging mechanism exhibits striking quantitative analogies to what is observed in the statistical mechanics of glassy systems. We argue that this can be a general scenario in language dynamics where shared linguistic conventions would not emerge as attractors, but rather as metastable states.

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Words per perceptual category.The average number of words per perceptual category  across the population of  = 300, 500 agents versus the number of games per player. The inset is a zoom showing  after  games per player. Clearly,  does not settle to one even after a very long time. The value of  here is equal to  which is the average of human JND (when projected on the  interval) [38].
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pone-0016677-g006: Words per perceptual category.The average number of words per perceptual category across the population of  = 300, 500 agents versus the number of games per player. The inset is a zoom showing after games per player. Clearly, does not settle to one even after a very long time. The value of here is equal to which is the average of human JND (when projected on the interval) [38].

Mentions: In the Category Game dynamics it is possible to distinguish two different phases. In the first regime, the number of perceptual categories increases due to the pressure of discrimination, and at the same time many different words are used by different agents for naming similar perceptual categories. This kind of synonymy reaches a peak and then drops [22] in a fashion similar to the well-known Naming Game [34], [35], [39]. A second phase starts when most of the perceptual categories are associated with only one word (see fig. 6). During this phase, words are found to expand their dominion across adjacent perceptual categories. In this way, sets of contiguous perceptual categories sharing the same words are formed, giving raise to what we define as linguistic categories (see fig. 1). An important outcome thus is the emergence of a hierarchical category structure made of two distinct levels: a basic layer, responsible for fine discrimination of the environment, and a shared linguistic layer that groups together perceptions to guarantee communicative success. Remarkably, the emergent number of linguistic categories in this phase turns out to be finite and small [22], as observed in natural languages, even in the limit of an infinitesimally small length scale , as opposed to the number of the underlying perceptual categories which is of order .


Aging in language dynamics.

Mukherjee A, Tria F, Baronchelli A, Puglisi A, Loreto V - PLoS ONE (2011)

Words per perceptual category.The average number of words per perceptual category  across the population of  = 300, 500 agents versus the number of games per player. The inset is a zoom showing  after  games per player. Clearly,  does not settle to one even after a very long time. The value of  here is equal to  which is the average of human JND (when projected on the  interval) [38].
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3040735&req=5

pone-0016677-g006: Words per perceptual category.The average number of words per perceptual category across the population of  = 300, 500 agents versus the number of games per player. The inset is a zoom showing after games per player. Clearly, does not settle to one even after a very long time. The value of here is equal to which is the average of human JND (when projected on the interval) [38].
Mentions: In the Category Game dynamics it is possible to distinguish two different phases. In the first regime, the number of perceptual categories increases due to the pressure of discrimination, and at the same time many different words are used by different agents for naming similar perceptual categories. This kind of synonymy reaches a peak and then drops [22] in a fashion similar to the well-known Naming Game [34], [35], [39]. A second phase starts when most of the perceptual categories are associated with only one word (see fig. 6). During this phase, words are found to expand their dominion across adjacent perceptual categories. In this way, sets of contiguous perceptual categories sharing the same words are formed, giving raise to what we define as linguistic categories (see fig. 1). An important outcome thus is the emergence of a hierarchical category structure made of two distinct levels: a basic layer, responsible for fine discrimination of the environment, and a shared linguistic layer that groups together perceptions to guarantee communicative success. Remarkably, the emergent number of linguistic categories in this phase turns out to be finite and small [22], as observed in natural languages, even in the limit of an infinitesimally small length scale , as opposed to the number of the underlying perceptual categories which is of order .

Bottom Line: The observed emerging asymptotic categorization, which has been previously tested--with success--against experimental data from human languages, corresponds to a metastable state where global shifts are always possible but progressively more unlikely and the response properties depend on the age of the system.This aging mechanism exhibits striking quantitative analogies to what is observed in the statistical mechanics of glassy systems.We argue that this can be a general scenario in language dynamics where shared linguistic conventions would not emerge as attractors, but rather as metastable states.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Scientific Interchange (ISI), Torino, Italy.

ABSTRACT
Human languages evolve continuously, and a puzzling problem is how to reconcile the apparent robustness of most of the deep linguistic structures we use with the evidence that they undergo possibly slow, yet ceaseless, changes. Is the state in which we observe languages today closer to what would be a dynamical attractor with statistically stationary properties or rather closer to a non-steady state slowly evolving in time? Here we address this question in the framework of the emergence of shared linguistic categories in a population of individuals interacting through language games. The observed emerging asymptotic categorization, which has been previously tested--with success--against experimental data from human languages, corresponds to a metastable state where global shifts are always possible but progressively more unlikely and the response properties depend on the age of the system. This aging mechanism exhibits striking quantitative analogies to what is observed in the statistical mechanics of glassy systems. We argue that this can be a general scenario in language dynamics where shared linguistic conventions would not emerge as attractors, but rather as metastable states.

Show MeSH