Noun distribution in natural languages

Noun distribution in natural languages Abstract Previous research on word class distribution claimed that 37% of word tokens are nouns, suggesting that there might exist a certain regularity of noun proportion among human languages. To explore this possibility, we examined the proportion of noun and four other word classes within British and American English, and across seven languages in terms of different word frequency band. Results indicated that the noun proportion is evidently about or larger than 37%, and meanwhile increases with word rarity. Among frequent words, nouns increase as minor word classes decrease, whereas among rare words, the noun proportion remains a stable level. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics de Gruyter

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by the
ISSN
0137-2459
eISSN
1897-7499
DOI
10.1515/psicl-2013-0019
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Previous research on word class distribution claimed that 37% of word tokens are nouns, suggesting that there might exist a certain regularity of noun proportion among human languages. To explore this possibility, we examined the proportion of noun and four other word classes within British and American English, and across seven languages in terms of different word frequency band. Results indicated that the noun proportion is evidently about or larger than 37%, and meanwhile increases with word rarity. Among frequent words, nouns increase as minor word classes decrease, whereas among rare words, the noun proportion remains a stable level.

Journal

Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguisticsde Gruyter

Published: Jan 1, 2013

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