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dc.contributor.advisorWedel, Andrew
dc.contributor.authorKing, Adam
dc.creatorKing, Adam
dc.date.accessioned2020-11-26T02:19:42Z
dc.date.available2020-11-26T02:19:42Z
dc.date.issued2020
dc.identifier.citationKing, Adam. (2020). The Lexicon is Shaped for Incremental Processing in a Noisy Channel (Doctoral dissertation, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA).
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10150/648598
dc.description.abstractHuman language is a constantly evolving system, with properties of a language’s grammar being shaped, among other things, to benefit efficient communication (Zipf, 1949; Köhler, 1987; Gibson et al., 2019). One important area of a language’s grammar is its lexicon, or set of words and their corresponding phonological forms, and there is a great deal of evidence that the lexicons of the world’s languages are structured to be similar to abstract, maximally efficient communicative codes (e.g., Zipf 1935; Ferrer-i Cancho and Solé 2003; Piantadosi et al. 2009, 2011; Mahowald et al. 2018. In this dissertation, I will present additional evidence that the lexicons of natural languages are structured for efficiency, moving past abstract codes and focusing on how listeners process and identify words in speech. Primarily, I will show that the distribution of inter-lexical contrasts, i.e., phonemes, in a language is such that the average Shannon information (Shannon, 1948) of phonemic contrasts is greater than would be expected otherwise, using a typologically and geographically diverse dataset of 25 languages. In addition, I will show that the increased informativeness of lexical contrasts does not interfere with a lexicon’s potential for accurate communication. Together, these offer strong support that languages evolve to be efficient communication systems, tailored to human users.
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
dc.subjectcorpus linguistics
dc.subjectefficient communication
dc.subjectincremental processing
dc.subjectlanguage evolution
dc.subjectword processing
dc.subjectZipf's law of abbreviation
dc.titleThe Lexicon is Shaped for Incremental Processing in a Noisy Channel
dc.typetext
dc.typeElectronic Dissertation
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizona
thesis.degree.leveldoctoral
dc.contributor.committeememberHammond, Michael
dc.contributor.committeememberFezechkina, Maryia
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate College
thesis.degree.disciplineLinguistics
thesis.degree.namePh.D.
refterms.dateFOA2020-11-26T02:19:44Z


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