An evolutionary cybernetics perspective on language and coordination

Joachim De Beule, Kevin Stadler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Starting from the observation that many open issues in linguistics hinge on problems of semantics, we discuss three core semantic notions: categories, agency, and qualification or semiosis. We argue that the origin of these coincide with the emergence of self-regulatory systems, systems that control their own persistence as localizable dynamical systems. When such systems interact a metasystem transition can occur in which the regulatory capacity per system is increased through the mechanisms of extension and specialization. Newly arising mutual dependencies force the formerly independent systems to coordinate their behaviour which leads them to effectively become a single system - a novel agency at a higher level of organization - thus qualifying the emergence of a novel language or code. We go on to argue that natural languages are instances of such naturally occurring conventionalization processes, corroborating the view that language should primarily be characterized as coordination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-130
Number of pages13
JournalNew Ideas in Psychology
Volume32
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Language
  • Coordination
  • Semiosis
  • Evolutionary cybernetics
  • Metasystem transitions
  • Code biology
  • COMMUNICATION
  • BIOSEMIOTICS
  • CONSTRUCTION
  • PERCEPTION
  • BEHAVIOR
  • STEPS
  • LIFE

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