The study of the origins and evolution of language and communication has seen a resurgence of interest in recent years. Part of the reason for this has been the application of techniques from computer modelling to test out different hypotheses about how language evolved. This allows researchers to run experiments on populations of simulated individuals, essentially rerunning competing proposed scenarios for the evolution of language.
In this course, we will build and run experiments with very simple models that nevertheless cast light on a wide range of puzzles - from the origins of animal communication all the way to the cultural evolution of structure in language. Each of these models will build on the previous ones and at each step we will relate the practical work we are doing with the existing literature on simulating language, as well as broader issues in the scientific understanding of the origins and ongoing evolution of language.
The Masterclass will take place at the Center for Semiotics, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 2, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Building 1485, 6th floor.
All participants will need to download and install the Enthought Python distribution prior to class too. (Or have a working version of Python with IDLE and matplotlib installed).
The free version of Enthought's python distribution is here: http://www.enthought.com/products/epd_free.php
All the Python code for the course will be online and we will download it together in class, so it's essential that students all have internet access too.
Please register for the masterclass by sending Tina Friis an e-mail.
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Updated November 8, 2012 by jpt. © Center for Semiotics. All rights reserved.