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Tutorial modelling language origins and evolution.


31 July 2005. Edinburgh, Scotland.

Presenters: Paul Vogt, Bart de Boer and Tony Belpaeme.

Evolutionary Linguistics is a new and rapidly growing field that has emerged
from the field of artificial intelligence and that is concerned with
modelling the origins and evolution of language. It addresses questions such
as the evolution of speech, the origins of symbolic categories, grounding,
the origins of grammar, the prerequisites for human language, and origins of
symbolic communication. Although computational modelling research has
yielded interesting results, these are often misinterpreted or overlooked by
non-technically schooled researchers in the field. We feel this is partly
due to the way the complex and abstract models are presented. Scientists
lacking experience in computational modelling often find it difficult to
understand the underlying models and their results.

This tutorial offers an introduction for artificial intelligence researchers
who are new to evolutionary linguistics and is aimed at understanding the
field and helping them set up computational experiments that address open
issues. We do this by presenting a thorough overview of the field and by
discussing how established AI techniques can be used to investigate the
evolution of language. To illustrate this we present a number of case
studies. In addition, we aim to provide suggestions of how to disseminate
the research to a multidisciplinary audience, which often include linguists,
anthropologists, archeologists, psychologists and biologists.

For further information, please consult the tutorial web-page:

Dr. Paul Vogt, Research Fellow
Language Evolution and Computation Research Unit
School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
University of Edinburgh
Phone: +44 131 6503960
Fax: +44 131 6503961