Why are there so many different languages in the world? How and why did languages emerge? And what are the social, environmental, and cognitive pressures that shape the evolution of language in our species?
The Language Evolution & Adaptation in Diverse Situations (LEADS) group, which is led by Dr. Limor Raviv, is looking into these fascinating questions by simulating the cultural evolution and social origin of natural languages.
We do this by combining novel behavioral paradigms and computational models, including group communication games, computational simulations with AIs such as deep learning agents and swarm robots, virtual reality experiments, animal communication research, and more.
In a range of projects, we show that languages can effectively be seen as a mirror for communities’ socio-demographic properties, and that pressures associated with language usage and social dynamics influence the emergence, distribution, and acquisition of different grammatical structures.