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Towards the Emergence of Non-trivial Compositionality

Steinert-Threlkeld, Shane (2019) Towards the Emergence of Non-trivial Compositionality. [Preprint]

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Abstract

All natural languages exhibit a distinction between content words (nouns, verbs,etc.) and function words (determiners, auxiliaries, tenses, etc.). Yet surprisingly little has been said about the emergence of this universal architectural feature of human language. This paper argues that the existence of this distinction requires the presence of non-trivial compositionality and identifies assumptions that have previously been made in the literature that provably guarantee only trivial composition. It then presents a signaling game with variable contexts and shows how the distinction can emerge via reinforcement learning.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Steinert-Threlkeld, Shaneshanest@uw.edu0000-0001-8906-266X
Additional Information: Forthcoming in the journal _Philosophy of Science_
Keywords: function words; signaling games; reinforcement learning; evolution of language; neural networks
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Artificial Intelligence
Depositing User: Dr. Shane Steinert-Threlkeld
Date Deposited: 26 Dec 2019 07:46
Last Modified: 26 Dec 2019 07:46
Item ID: 16750
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophy of Science
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Artificial Intelligence
Date: 23 December 2019
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16750

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