InterJournal Complex Systems, 392
Status: Submitted
Manuscript Number: [392]
Submission Date: 511
Fluctuation- induced self- organization of a phonological system
Author(s): Stamatios Christian Nicolis

Subject(s): CX.01, CX.43

Category: News Item


A central problem of linguistics is the origin of phonological systems. A dominant view is to attribute it to the inherent capacity of humans to emit and recognize sounds and to attribute them preferentially to objects. In the present communication the idea that such systems may evolve via self- organized processes is explored. The principal thesis is that self- organization is induced by process of imitation and competition between individuals of a population confronted to different options. The simplest scenario of pair interactions and of options of a priori equal attractivities is adopted. Under these conditions the evolution is entirely driven by the fluctuations. It is shown that the population evolves from an initial random state to a final organized one in which only a particular option (sound) or a small number of such options survive. The role of different parameters on the evolution such as the number of individuals and of the options to be managed is analyzed, and a power law dependence of time needed to achieve the final state on these parameter is derived. An experimental program to implement these ideas is proposed.

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