Exploring social structure effect on language evolution based on a computational model

Tao Gong, James W. Minett, William Shi Yuan Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


A compositionality-regularity coevolution model is adopted to explore the effect of social structure on language emergence and maintenance. Based on this model, we explore language evolution in three experiments, and discuss the role of a popular agent in language evolution, the relationship between mutual understanding and social hierarchy, and the effect of inter-community communications and that of simple linguistic features on convergence of communal languages in two communities. This work embodies several important interactions during social learning, and introduces a new approach that manipulates individuals' probabilities to participate in social interactions to study the effect of social structure. We hope it will stimulate further theoretical and empirical explorations on language evolution in a social environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-153
Number of pages19
JournalConnection Science
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Computational simulation
  • Language evolution
  • Power-law distribution
  • Social structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Artificial Intelligence


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