[Preprint] What Preserves the Emergence of Language?


The emergence of language is a mystery. One dominant theory is that cooperation boosts language to emerge. However, as a means of giving out information, language seems not to be an evolutionarily stable strategy. To ensure the survival advantage of many competitors, animals are selfish in nature. From the perspective of Darwinian, if an individual can obtain a higher benefit by deceiving the other party, why not deceive? For those who are cheated, once bitten and twice shy, cooperation will no longer be a good option. As a result, motivation for communication, as well as the emergence of language would perish. Then, what preserves the emergence of language? We aim to answer this question in a brand new framework of agent community, reinforcement learning, and natural selection. Empirically, we reveal that lying indeed dispels cooperation. Even with individual resistance to lying behaviors, liars can easily defeat truth tellers and survive during natural selection. However, social resistance eventually constrains lying and makes the emergence of language possible.