Testing the robustness of laws of polysemy and brevity versus frequency
Document typeConference report
Rights accessOpen Access
The pioneering research of G.K. Zipf on the relationship between word frequency and other word features led to the formulation of various linguistic laws. Here we focus on a couple of them: the meaning-frequency law, i.e. the tendency of more frequent words to be more polysemous, and the law of abbreviation, i.e. the tendency of more frequent words to be shorter. Here we evaluate the robustness of these laws in contexts where they have not been explored yet to our knowledge. The recovery of the laws again in new conditions provides support for the hypothesis that they originate from abstract mechanisms.
CitationHernandez Fernandez, A., Casas, B., Ferrer-i-Cancho, R., Baixeries, J. Testing the robustness of laws of polysemy and brevity versus frequency. A: International Conference on Statistical Language and Speech Processing. "Statistical Language and Speech Processing: 4th International Conference, SLSP 2016, Pilsen, Czech Republic, October 11-12, 2016, Proceedings". Pilsen: Springer, 2016, p. 19-29.