Semiotic schemata: Selection units for linguistic cultural evolution

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4 Author(s)

Words, like genes, are replicators in competition to colonize our brains. Some, by luck or thanks to their intrinsic qualities, manage to spread in entire populations. In this paper we take the approach of cultural selectionism to study the emergence of communication systems in a population of agents. By studying simple models of word competition in noisy environments, we define the basic dynamics of such systems. We then argue for their generality and introduce the notion of semiotic schemata, generic replicators that account for the different competitions that are going on during lexicon formation. Eventually, we present a synthesis of the dynamics using this new formalism