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Keywords:

  • Communication games;
  • language differences;
  • indeterminate meaning;
  • organizational codes

Different people use language in different ways. We capture this by making language competence—the set of messages an agent can use and understand—private information. Our primary focus is on common-interest games. Communication generally remains possible; it may be severely impaired even with common knowledge that language competence is adequate; and, indeterminacy of meaning, the confounding of payoff-relevant information with information about language competence, is optimal.