Iterated Learning with Human subjects: adding communication and feedback
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The framework pioneered by Cornish (2006) and Kirby, Cornish and Smith (2008) has opened a new door for language research with human participants in a laboratory. They were able to show that a compositional and expressive language could emerge with no intentional design on behalf of the subject. However, filtering for homonymy was necessary to produce a language that adapted to be learnable by becoming more structured and expressive. What I proposed was to introduce communication and feedback to investigate whether these factors would act as a selection pressure on the language to become not just structured but expressive, without the need to artificially filter for homonymy. My results suggested that communication on its own is not enough of a pressure to produce an expressive language but when feedback is introduced, a compositional and expressive language emerges.