EELC2005: International Symposium on the Emergence and Evolution of Linguistic Communication New: Symposium Program
List of Accepted Papers:
Author Instructions:

Participants need to register for the AISB'05 Convention at
Deadline for Early Registration Discount: 31 January 2005.

Second International Symposium on the Emergence and Evolution of Linguistic Communication

at the AISB'05 Convention 12-15 April 2005, Hatfield UK

Invited Speakers:

Luc Steels (AI Lab Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Alison Wray (Cardiff University, Wales)
W. Tecumseh Fitch (University of St. Andrews, Scotland)

Programme Chairs:

Angelo Cangelosi, University of Plymouth, (Chair)
Chrystopher L. Nehaniv, University of Herfordshire (Co-Chair)

Supported by a grant of The British Academy, The National Academy for Humanities and Social Sciences.

Scope of the Symposium

The renewed scientific interest in the emergence and evolution of linguistic communication has become one of the most important research issues in Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science. The EELC'05 Symposium will focus on the latest empirical and modelling research on the evolutionary factors that affect the acquisition, self-organization and origins of linguistic communication systems and their precursors. This considers both language-specific abilities (e.g. speech, semantics and syntax) and other cognitive, sensorimotor and social abilities (e.g. category learning, action and embodiment, social networks). Key questions relate to the the emergence of: symbol grounding; deixis, gesture, and reference; predication; negation; syntactic categories; and compositionality; among other issues in the context of embodied, social interaction and evolution. This is a field characterized by a highly interdisciplinary and multi-methodological approach. It benefits from the contribution of researchers from wide ranging disciplines such as linguistics, psychology, neuroscience, anthropology and computer science. The methodologies adopted cover a wide range of approaches, from animal and human experiments, to brain studies and to computational and robotic modelling of linguistic behaviour. For example, computational models of language evolution and emergence involve artificial intelligence methods (e.g. artificial neural networks, evolutionary computation, rule-based systems) and techniques for the simulation of behaviour (artificial life, multi-agent systems, adaptive behaviour and robotics). The symposium will create the opportunity for the many of most influential in the field to present their latest research and to discuss the agenda for future studies.

The use of computational models for simulating the evolution of language has been one of the main contributors to the renewed interest in language evolution research. In fact, up to 10 years ago, very few researchers were directly interested in the origins and evolution of language and publications on new language evolution studies were uncommon. This was partly the result of the famous ban in the 19th century by the Société Linguistique de Paris on research and publication on language origins to quell rampant, unfounded speculation on the topic. The development of the first language evolution models in the early 90s permitted to deal with some of the main difficulties in such a scientific field. Theories of language origins and evolution not only were difficult to test empirically but they tended to be stated in vague and general terms and were unable to generate detailed empirical predictions. This has been partially due to the problem of the objective scarcity of empirical evidence. It is this very problematic aspect of the study of language evolution which computer simulations can help us to overcome. Computer simulations are theories of the empirical phenomena that are simulated (Cangelosi & Parisi 2002). Simulations are a novel way to express theories in science. They are scientific theories expressed as computer programs. The program incorporates a set of hypotheses on the causes, mechanisms, and processes underlying the simulated phenomena and, when the program runs in the computer, the results of the simulations are the empirical predictions derived from the theory incorporated in the simulation. All this contributes to the development of a new approach to the study of the origins and evolution of language.

The EELC Symposium Series

Following on from the success of the First International Workshop on the Emergence and Evolution of Linguistic Communication in Japan 2004, and the Evolution of Language conferences. This symposium will be held 14-15 April 2005 at the University of Hertfordshire, de Havilland Campus, Hatfield, just outside London. It will be part of the AISB-2005 convention 12-15 April 2005, whose overall theme is "Social Intelligence and Interaction in Animals, Robots and Agents". EELC'04 was the First International Workshop on the Emergence and Evolution of Linguistic Communication (EELC), held in Kanazawa (Japan) in May/June 2004 under the auspices of the Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence (JSAI), the Japanese counterpart of AISB, at their 2004 Convention. The 2nd EELC Symposium at AISB05 in the U.K. aims to continue the philosophy of this meeting and its international tradition. This is particularly relevant because both British and Japanese scientists have played a major role on the development of computational models of language evolution. In addition, the location of the workshop within the AISB annual meeting will permit a better exchange with other researchers working in the field of artificial intelligence and simulation of behaviour, both those working in Britain and those will come from abroad to attend the meeting.

Aims of the Symposium

Symposium Structure

The symposium is expected to last for 2 days, 14-15 April but may be extended depending on number and quality of submissions. It will include several keynote speakers presentations for a total of about 20 talks, with time for discussion of each paper, panel and open discussions. The actual number of presentations and duration will depend on the number and quality of submissions.


Extended abstracts, three to four A4 pages in length (including author affiliations, references etc) should be submitted electronically (PDF, Postscript or ASCII format) to All submissions will be acknowledged and refereed by the international scientific programme committee.


All accepted papers will be published as an AISB proceedings volume dedicated to the symposium with an ISBN number. Accepted papers for the Symposium proceedings should be prepared according to the guidelines on the AISB 2005 site Authors of selected papers will also invited to submit expanded versions of their articles to an edited post-proceedings volume/journal to be published by a well-known scientific publisher.

Important Dates

Extended abstracts of papers describing original work are now invited in any research area within the scope of the symposium. The schedule for submissions and revisions is as follows:
  • Deadline for submissions: 31 October 2004
  • Notification deadline: 22 November 2004
  • Camera ready copies of full papers: 17 January 2005
  • Early Registration Deadline: 31 January 2005
  • AISB Convention: 12-15 April 2004
  • All participants must register for the AISB'05 Convention. For accommodation a nd registration details, see AISB'05 webpages.

    International Scientific Programme Committee

    Organizing Committee

    Selected References:

    1. Simulating the Evolution of Language, Angelo Cangelosi & D. Parisi (Eds.), London: Springer Verlag, 2002. [ISBN: 1852334282]
    2. C. L. Nehaniv, "The Making of Meaning in Societies: Semiotic & Information-Theoretic Background to the Evolution of Communication", Proc. AISB Symposium: Starting from Society - the application of social analogies to computational systems, 19-20 April 2000, Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Adaptive Behaviour, pp. 73-84, 2000. [ISBN: 1 902956 13 8]
    3. First International Workshop on the Emergence and Evolution of Linguistic Communication (EELC 2004), 31 May-1 June 2004, Kanazawa, Japan, Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence, 2004. [ISBN: 4-915905-14-4 C3004(JSAI)]
    4. Evolution of Language, special issue of Science, 27 February 2004, Volume 303 Number 5662, 27 February 2004.
    5. The Evolutionary Emergence of Language: Social Function and the Origins of Linguistic Form, Chris Knight, Michael Studdert-Kennedy, & James Hurford (Eds.) Cambridge University Press, 2000. [ISBN: 0521786967]
    6. Language Evolution (Studies in the Evolution of Language), Morten H. Christiansen & Simon Kirby (Eds.) Oxford University Press, 2003. [ISBN: 0199244847]
    7. The Transition to Language : International Conference on the Evolution of Language 2000, Alison Wray (Ed.), Oxford University Press, 2002. [ISBN: 0199250669]

    Symposium Webpage: