LEC talk 10th February: Yasamin Motamedi

By Kevin | February 5, 2015

Tuesday 10th Feb, 11am-12:30, G32, 7 George Square

Yasamin Motamedi

The emergence of systematic structure in artificial gestural communication systems

Languages exhibit systematic structure: signals are not independent of each other but form part of a system. Previous work has shown that the emergence of systematic structure increases learnability of a system, and the pressures of transmission drive this emergence (Kirby, Cornish and Smith, 2008; Cornish, Smith and Kirby, 2013). Additionally, a link has been posited a between systematic structure and the arbitrariness of a systems signals; that is, as signs become more arbitrary, the systematic re-use of signs increases, aiding learnability (Theisen, Oberlander and Kirby,2010; Theisen-White, Kirby and Oberlander, 2011).

In this talk I will present a study that looks at how systematic structure arises in manual communication systems. I will present results that suggest the gradual emergence of systematic structure in the systems participants created. I will present analysis that attempts to understand which aspects of the sign are affected as systematic structure emerges, relating the results to structures found in natural sign languages.