LIRa Session: Nina Gierasimczuk

Speaker: Nina Gierasimczuk

Date and Time: Thursday, May 20th 2021, 16:30-18:00, Amsterdam time.

Venue: online.

Title: Multi-agent language coordination and cognitive semantics of quantity terms


Natural languages vary in their quantity expressions, but the variation seems to be constrained by general properties, so-called universals. Explanations thereof have been sought among constraints of human cognition, communication, complexity, and pragmatics. In this work, we examine whether the  perceptual constraints of approximate number sense (ANS) contribute to  the  development  of  two  universals  in  the  semantic  domain  of  quantities: monotonicity and convexity. Using a state-of-the-art multi-agent language coordination model (originally applied to colour terms) we evolve communicatively  usable  quantity  terminologies. We compare the degrees of convexity and monotonicity of languages evolvingin populations of agents with and without ANS. The results suggest that ANS supports the development of monotonicity and, to a lesser extent, convexity. This is a joint work with Dariusz Kalociński (University of Warsaw), Franciszek Rakowski (Samsung Research & Development Institute Poland) and Jakub Uszyński (National Information Processing Institute, Poland). It was generously supported by N.G.’s National Science Centre Poland grant no. 2015/19/B/HS1/03292.