UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 15 (2003)

Game theory and communication


This paper assesses recent game-theoretic accounts of communication which are motivated by the goal of understanding links between rationality and communication, particularly Prashant Parikh’s model (Parikh 1991, 2000, 2001). Following an account of the model, it is argued that it faces empirical and theoretical problems. Comparisons are made with relevance theory (Sperber & Wilson, 1986/95) and improvements to the model are suggested. An alternative kind of approach, represented by the work of Lewis (1969) and van Rooy (forthcoming) is briefly discussed, as are doubts about the formalisation of rationality offered by game theory.

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