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This is also a law evident throughout nature

This is also a law evident throughout nature

Communication between birds and mammals tends to be short. Indeed, it can be seen in the songs of black-headed tits, the duration of the calls of Formosa macaws, the vocalizations of the indri, the timing of chimpanzees' gestures, and the length of surface behavioral patterns in dolphins. Humans are not the only ones who want their language to be effective.

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Linguistic laws in biology and beyond

Linguistic laws in biology and beyond

Although the article focuses mainly on these three laws, it points to others that can still be found (those that are so far under-researched and understudied). For example, Herdan's law (the correlation between the number of unique words and text length) is evident in the proteomes of many organi...

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Linguists have long known that human speech seems to be governed

Linguists have long known that human speech seems to be governed

For example, shorter words are used in different languages more often than longer ones. Biologists have noticed this, and many have wondered whether these linguistic laws apply to biological phenomena. Indeed, a new review published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution discusses their findings in d...

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Pattern 2: more minor things are more common

Pattern 2: more minor things are more common

The second linguistic rule we can apply to life is Zipf's law of abbreviation, which describes the tendency for more commonly used words to become shorter. This applies to hundreds of different and unrelated languages, including sign language. In English, the seven most common words are three let...

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Part 3: the longer something is, the shorter its composite parts

Part 3: the longer something is, the shorter its composite parts

Take a sentence such as this one, with all its words, long and short, joined together, punctuated by commas, sunk into each other to reach the final (and breathtaking) finale. It should be noted that although a sentence is long, it is divided into relatively small sentences. This is known as Menz...

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UNKNOWN LAWS OF LANGUAGE THAT APPLY THROUGHOUT LIFE

UNKNOWN LAWS OF LANGUAGE THAT APPLY THROUGHOUT LIFE

Key takeaways

There are various laws of linguistics; for example, famous words are shorter than less popular words.

These laws apply not only to human language but also to animal communication.

But the most surprising thing is that these rules appear almost everywhere, from spec...

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326 reads

Formula 1: twice the size of the nearest rival

Formula 1: twice the size of the nearest rival

The first linguistic rule concerns the frequency of a language's most frequently used words. This is known as Zipf's rank-frequency law and holds that the relative frequency of a word is inversely proportional to its frequency rank. In other words, the most frequently used word will be twice as o...

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The sheer scale of application and versatility of these laws is remarkable. The laws discovered in linguistics have applications in ecology, microbiology, epidemiology, demography, and geography.

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