An epistemic interpretation of bidirectional optimality based on signaling games

  • To some, the relation between bidirectional optimality theory and game theory seems obvious: strong bidirectional optimality corresponds to Nash equilibrium in a strategic game (Dekker and van Rooij 2000). But in the domain of pragmatics this formally sound parallel is conceptually inadequate: the sequence of utterance and its interpretation cannot be modelled reasonably as a strategic game, because this would mean that speakers choose formulations independently of a meaning that they want to express, and that hearers choose an interpretation irrespective of an utterance that they have observed. Clearly, the sequence of utterance and interpretation requires a dynamic game model. One such model, and one that is widely studied and of manageable complexity, is a signaling game. This paper is therefore concerned with an epistemic interpretation of bidirectional optimality, both strong and weak, in terms of beliefs and strategies of players in a signaling game. In particular, I suggest that strong optimality may be regarded as a process of internal self-monitoring and that weak optimality corresponds to an iterated process of such self-monitoring. This latter process can be derived by assuming that agents act rationally to (possibly partial) beliefs in a self-monitoring opponent.

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Author:Michael Franke
Parent Title (English):Papers on pragmasemantics / Anton Benz & Reinhard Blutner (ed.)
Publisher:Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Place of publication:Berlin
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of Completion:2009
Year of first Publication:2009
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2013/11/14
GND Keyword:Evolutionstheorie; Spieltheorie; Optimalitätstheorie; Pragmatik
Page Number:23
First Page:111
Last Page:134
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 41 Linguistik / 410 Linguistik
Linguistik-Klassifikation:Linguistik-Klassifikation: Pragmalinguistik/Kommunikationsforschung / Pragmalinguistics/Communication research
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:ZAS papers in linguistics : ZASPiL / ZASPiL 51 = Papers on pragmasemantics
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht