Evolutionary Games and Language

Gerhard Jäger

[revised and updated August 21, 2005 ]



With this course I will give an introduction into the basics of Game Theory, to review applications of GT to linguistic pragmatics, and to give
an overview over the evolutionary reinterpretation of GT and its relevance to pragmatics, typology, and historical linguistics.

The focus of the course will be on the evolutionary re-interpretation of GT which was originally developed by biologists. There the classical game
theoretic equilibrium concepts are replaced by the notion of evolutionary stability. In linguistic applications of Evolutionary Game Theory, the
underlying evolutionary dynamics is based on various forms of learning. I will discuss refinements of the classical dynamics like stochastic and
spatial evolution. Here computer simulations are an indispensable heuristic tool.

Last but not least, I will present various applications of these concepts to pragmatics and typology.