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Artificial Life

Spring 2003, Vol. 9, No. 2, Pages 175-190
(doi: 10.1162/106454603322221513)
© 2003 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Intelligent Meaning Creation in a Clumpy World Helps Communication
Article PDF (252.23 KB)

This article investigates the problem of how language learners decipher what words mean. In many recent models of language evolution, agents are provided with innate meanings a priori and explicitly transfer them to each other as part of the communication process. By contrast, I investigate how successful communication systems can emerge without innate or transferable meanings, and show that this is dependent on the agents developing highly synchronized conceptual systems. I present experiments with various cognitive, communicative, and environmental factors which affect the likelihood of agents achieving meaning synchronization and demonstrate that an intelligent meaning creation strategy in a clumpy world leads to the highest level of meaning similarity between agents.