The Self-Organization of Speech Sounds

Pierre-Yves Oudeyer of the Sony Computer Science Lab has published a new paper titled, The Self-Organization of Speech Sounds (PDF format). The paper describes a proposed method by which speech codes could form within a community of agents which do not already possess language-like abilities. The researchers are investigating how language and speech may have evolved. This work is based on a previously described idea known as The Blind Snow-Flake Maker Hypothesis (PDF format). The name of the Hypothesis will probably be recognized as a joke on Dawkin’s “Blind Watchmaker”. In this case, not Darwinism but a principal of self-organization similar to that of snow crystals is proposed as the origin of language. For more information on their ideas about the origins of language, visit the Sony CSL Origin of Speech Sounds page.

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