October 05, 2004

We Have Ways of Making You Talk (This Week at the Complex Systems Colloquium: Divided by a Common Language Edition)

Attention conservation notice: This is an attempt to increase the attendance at this semester's complex systems colloquia by blogging about them in advance. Of minimal relevance if you're not in Ann Arbor or don't care about complex systems, linguistics or social dynamics.

This week, we are proud to welcome Dr. Jinyun Ke for an hour's talk on what, exactly, leads us to say such things. Dr. Ke got her Ph.D. in language engineering earlier this year from the City University of Hong Kong. Her current research interests include using computational models to study language change and language emergence, homophony, and the self-organizing structure of lexicon and its developmental process in language acquisition. She will be speaking on:

Language evolves as a self-organizing process: system, population and individual
Abstract: I will discuss how complexity theory provides a new perspective for the study of language evolution. In particular, language differs from other complex systems as it has two levels of existence, i.e., the idiolect and the community language, and at each level the language self-organizes. To study a self-organizing system, we need to examine not only the properties of the agents in the system, but also the long term effect of local interactions between agents. As an example, I will use computational models to show how different social structures in the community, which is one important factor determining the interaction between agents, affect language change in the long run.

Dr. Ke's talk will be opened by a special introduction from her co-author, Prof. John Holland.

Thursday, October 7 at 4 pm in 335 West Hall, Central Campus.


Posted by crshalizi at October 05, 2004 12:08 | permanent link

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