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Tag: Information Theory

Alternative Solutions to a Language Design Problem: The Role of Adjectives and Gender Marking in Efficient Communication

Published in: Topics in Cognitive Science, Volume 10, Issue 1, 209-224 Abstract “A central goal of typological research is to characterize linguistic features in terms of both their functional role and their fit to social and cognitive systems. One long‐standing puzzle concerns why certain languages employ grammatical gender. In an information theoretic analysis of German noun classification, Dye, Milin, Futrell, and Ramscar (2017) enumerated a number of important processing advantages gender confers. Yet this raises a further puzzle: If gender systems are so beneficial to processing, what does this mean for languages that make do without them? Here, we compare the… Read More