Evidence for Efficient Language Production in Chinese

Abstract

Recent work proposes that language production is organized to facilitate efficient communication by means of transmitting information at a constant rate. However, evidence has almost exclusively come from English. We present new results from Mandarin Chinese supporting the hypothesis that Constant Entropy Rate is observed cross-linguistically, and may be a universal property of the language production system. We show that this result holds even if several important confounds that previous work failed to address are controlled for. Finally, we present evidence that Constant Entropy Rate is observed at the syllable level as well as the word level, suggesting findings do not depend on the chosen unit of observation.


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