Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10593/19015
Title: Ambiguity and language evolution: Evolution of homophones and syllable number of words
Authors: Ogura, Mieko
Wang, William S-Y.
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Adam Mickiewicz University
Citation: Studia Anglica Posnaniensia, vol. 42 (2006), pp. 3-30
Abstract: We investigate the evolution of homophones and its relation to the evolution of syllable number of words, based on the quantitative analysis on the historical data and simulation. We suggest that homophones are the outcome of arranging form-meaning associations according to Zipf’s law to maximize the referential power under effort for the speaker constraints. We also discuss the neural bases of ambiguity and the relation between ambiguity and robustness in language evolution. Furthermore, we show that homophones are stable and cumulate with the times. To avoid creating homophones, syllable number of words increases, with more recent entry dates of words associated with more syllables. We also explore stability of homophones and instability of synonyms in children’s acquisition process. The mechanism of the evolution of homophones and syllable length of words works cross-linguistically from the emergence of language and goes on at present.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10593/19015
ISSN: 0081-6272
Appears in Collections:Studia Anglica Posnaniensia, 2006 vol. 42

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