Repeated Interactions Can Lead to More Iconic Signals

Abstract

Previous research has shown that repeated interactions can cause iconicity in signals to reduce. However, data from several recent studies has shown the opposite trend: an increase in iconicity as the result of repeated interactions. Here, we discuss whether signals may become less or more iconic as a result of the modality used to produce them. We review several recent experimental results before presenting new data from multi-modal signals, where visual input creates audio feedback. Our results show that the growth in iconicity present in the audio information may come at a cost to iconicity in the visual information. Our results have implications for how we think about and measure iconicity in artificial signalling experiments. Further, we discuss how iconicity in real world speech may stem from auditory, kinetic or visual information, but iconicity in these different modalities may conflict.


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