Distinguishing selection pressures in an evolving communication system: Evidence from color-naming in “cross signing”

Kang-Suk Byun, Seán G. Roberts, Connie de Vos, Ulrike Zeshan, Stephen C. Levinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

43 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Cross-signing—the emergence of an interlanguage between users of different sign languages—offers a rare chance to examine the evolution of a natural communication system in real time. To provide an insight into this process, we analyse an annotated video corpus of 340 minutes of interaction between signers of different language backgrounds on their first meeting and after living with each other for several weeks. We focus on the evolution of shared color terms and examine the role of different selectional pressures, including frequency, content, coordination and interactional context. We show that attentional factors in interaction play a crucial role. This suggests that understanding meta-communication is critical for explaining the cultural evolution of linguistic systems.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalFrontiers in Communication
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Cross-signing
  • International Sign
  • Interaction
  • Cultural Evolution
  • Selection
  • Content bias
  • Coordination bias
  • Conformity bias

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Distinguishing selection pressures in an evolving communication system: Evidence from color-naming in “cross signing”'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this