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ERIC Number: EJ1087774
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0364-0213
Information Density and Syntactic Repetition
Temperley, David; Gildea, Daniel
Cognitive Science, v39 n8 p1802-1823 Nov 2015
In noun phrase (NP) coordinate constructions (e.g., NP and NP), there is a strong tendency for the syntactic structure of the second conjunct to match that of the first; the second conjunct in such constructions is therefore low in syntactic information. The theory of uniform information density predicts that low-information syntactic constructions will be counterbalanced by high information in other aspects of that part of the sentence, and high-information constructions will be counterbalanced by other low-information components. Three predictions follow: (a) lexical probabilities (measured by N-gram probabilities and head-dependent probabilities) will be lower in second conjuncts than first conjuncts; (b) lexical probabilities will be lower in matching second conjuncts (those whose syntactic expansions match the first conjunct) than nonmatching ones; and (c) syntactic repetition should be especially common for low-frequency NP expansions. Corpus analysis provides support for all three of these predictions.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A