Loops and Self Reference in Language and Life

Workshop on Topology: Identifying Order in Complex Systems
Topic:Loops and Self Reference in Language and Life
Speaker:Tsvi Tlusty
Affiliation:Weizmann Institute of Science; Member, Simons Center for Systems Biology, IAS
Date:Friday, March 6
Time/Room:2:00pm - 3:00pm/S-101
Video Link:https://video.ias.edu/topology-workshop/2013

We will discuss the notion of loops in linguistic structures, mainly in dictionaries. In a simplified view, a dictionary is a graph that links every word (vertex) to a set of alternative words (the definition) which in turn point to further descendants. Iterating through definitions, one may loop back to the original word. We will examine possible links between such definitional loops and the emergence of new concepts during the evolution of languages. Potential relation to living systems will be briefly discussed.