Chapter

Skewed frequencies as a design feature of language

John R Taylor

in The Mental Corpus

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199290802
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741388 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199290802.003.0008
Skewed frequencies as a design feature of language

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A language must be learnable by new generations of speakers. Contributing to the learnability of language and its semantic and syntactic categories are the skewed frequencies of its elements. Categories whose members are equally frequent would be unlearnable in principle.

Keywords: emergent features; redundancy; markedness; categorization; prototypes; exemplars; Rosch; Goldberg; cue validity; category validity; design features; learnability

Chapter.  7962 words. 

Subjects: Psycholinguistics

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