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Pages 617-624
First published 2 September 2013

Cyclic Behavior in Gene-Culture Coevolution Mediated by Phenotypic Plasticity in Language

Tsubasa Azumagakito, Reiji Suzuki, Takaya Arita


The evolution of language has been the subject of much debate and speculation. It is difficult to study in a scientific manner and remains an open research question. This paper proposes an integrated computational framework for investigating possible scenarios of genetic and cultural evolution of language. Specifically, our framework aims to capture cultural evolution to allow for investigation phylogenetic dynamics of language, and at the same time to capture genetic evolution of phenotypic plasticity to allow for investigation of the role of the Baldwin effect in language evolution, while keeping the framework as simple as possible. In our evolutionary experiments and analysis, we discovered a coevolutionary scenario involving biological evolution of phenotypic plasticity, and a cyclic coevolutionary dynamic between genetic and cultural evolution, mediated by phenotypic plasticity.