From quantal biomechanics to whole events: Toward a multidimensional model for emergent language

Bryan Gick


The article describes an approach to speech articulation based on a view of vocal tract constrictors as physiological sphincter mechanisms. In this model, a particular constrictor (sphincter) can produce only one kind of constriction, and it does so using the inherent quantal biomechanical properties of sphincters. Within this space, those nonlinearities that facilitate the production of ecologically successful events function as attractors to behavior. These facilitative nonlinearities become the common currency of human ecological space, and coupled with an iterative learning simulator, are the basis for an emergent model of phonology or other patterned behavior. The common currency of this space is communicative advantage, and it is only by offering demonstrative communicative advantage that a behavior may be adopted as exerting an effect.


Biomechanical properties; Iterative learning; Multi-dimensional model; Speech articulation; Vocal-tracts

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.