The International Symposium on the Physics of Language (POL) aims to provide an approach to a very general question: “To what extent can the properties of the mental world be accounted for by physical principles?” There have been considerable advances in our understanding of complex systems, new analytic tools, computational and formal approaches have emerged in a wide range of disciplines. Language provides an ideal model for investigating the relationship between physical and mental systems. It is a universal vehicle for humans to represent, interpret and communicate their experience of the physical world. Language with its genetic and neurological roots and its social extensions presents clear challenges. POL will bring together researchers with diverse expertise who share an interest in exploring and testing the boundaries of our understanding of the mental through the physical.

This inaugural meeting of POL will consist entirely of invited talks, including interim research reports by members of several projects related to the physics of language sponsoring the symposium. We sincerely hope that POL will continue to be held in the future, on an annual or biannual basis, and that its participant base will steadily increase, together with further recognition of the importance of this sort of interdisciplinary approach to the study of language and mind.

POL2016 Central Organizing Committee