Creativity and cooperation in the dynamics of the lexicon: from lexis to logos

Principle Investigators:

Past Post Doctoral Fellow

  • Jessie Nixon
  • Yoon Mi Oh
  • Clay Beckner

Doctoral Student

  • Juergen Brandstetter, UC

Funding Agency: John Templeton Foundation, USA.

2.7 million USD 2012 - 2018

Press Release

The Wordovators project aims to understand how children, teens and adults create new words. They want to understand why some new words are taken up by people while others fade. The Wordovators project has the goal of discovering the fundamental mechanisms that support the complexity of the lexicon in human languages. It combines mathematical modeling with large- scale experiments in the form of computer word games. Hosted on the web, the games will recruit players from all over the world. Single-player games will explore cognitive factors in the creation and processing of novel words. Multiplayer games using a futuristic space-exploration scenario will investigate the interaction of cognitive and social factors in the development of shared vocabularies.