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Properties of phoneme N -grams across the world’s language families

Conference paper
Authors Taraka Rama
Lars Borin
Published in Proceedings of the Fourth Swedish Language Technology Conference (SLTC)
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Swedish
Language en
Keywords N-grams, language families
Subject categories Linguistics, Computational linguistics

Abstract

In this article, we investigate the properties of phoneme N -grams across half of the world’s languages. The sizes of three different N -gram distributions of the world’s language families obey a power law. Further, the N -gram distributions of language families parallel the sizes of the families, which also follow a power law distribution. The correlation between N -gram distributions and language family sizes improves with increasing values of N . The study also raises some new questions about the use of N -gram distributions in linguistic research, which we hope to be able to investigate in the future.

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