[b-hebrew] Zipf and B-Hebrew

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sat Oct 13 20:38:39 EDT 2007


Dear Whoever You Are,

One of the basic rules of this lits is that each mosting be signed with the 
full name of the poster. Additional information, such as title, 
institutional affiliation and place of residence, is optional. This makes 
for much more pleasant "conversation" and helps us all know who the people 
behind the posts are. Especially, setting your email identity so that you 
appear as "biblical hebrew" is not a good way to begin posting on this list. 
So please identify yourself and then ask the question again.


Yigal Levin
co-moderator


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "biblical hebrew" <jcr.bhebrew at gmail.com>
To: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2007 8:37 PM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Zipf and B-Hebrew


> Hi all,
>
> I was wondering what people's opinions about one of Zipf's  ideas  are.
> Zipf, best  known  for  Zipf's law, suggests  that  there is a playoff
> between ease of speaking and ease of understanding that forces the
> distribution of words which have single unambiguous meanings and words 
> that
> have multiple meanings discerned from context. That is to say that the
> optimal situation for the speaker would be that language consisted of one
> word which could express every possible meaning while the optimal 
> situation
> for the hearer would be that every word had a unique meaning so that no
> ambiguities need be resolved. He further suggests that these conflicting
> interests create linguistic forces which cause any given language to, in a
> manner of compromise between the needs of the speaker and of the hearer,
> have a mix of unambiguous words and words with multiple meanings with the
> rarest words typically having a very specific and unambiguous meaning and
> the most common words having the most possible semantic meanings
> disambiguated by context.
>
> I was wondering what the list members feelings about Zipf's proposal are
> with respect to b-hebrew. Are his ideas supported by the evidence in the
> b-hebrew corpus? Are there any examples which contradict his proposal?
>
> Thanks in advance for any help.
>
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> James Christian Read - BSc Computer Science
> http://www.lamie.org/hebrew       Thesis 1 - Aleppo codex machine 
> translation
> http://www.lamie.org/lad-sim.doc  Thesis 2 - language acquisition 
> simulation
>
>
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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