Commentary and Discussion: Entropy, the Indus Script, and Language: A Reply to R. Sproat

@article{Rao2010CommentaryAD,
  title={Commentary and Discussion: Entropy, the Indus Script, and Language: A Reply to R. Sproat},
  author={Rajesh P. N. Rao and Nisha Yadav and Mayank N. Vahia and Hrishikesh Joglekar and Ronojoy Adhikari and Iravatham Mahadevan},
  journal={Computational Linguistics},
  year={2010},
  volume={36},
  pages={795-805}
}
In a recent LastWords column (Sproat 2010), Richard Sproat laments the reviewing practices of “general science journals” after dismissing our work and that of Lee, Jonathan, and Ziman (2010) as “useless” and “trivially and demonstrably wrong.” Although we expect such categorical statements to have already raised some red flags in the minds of readers, we take this opportunity to present a more accurate description of our work, point out the straw man argument used in Sproat (2010), and provide… Expand
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have long claimed the Indus Valley as one of the four literate centers of the early ancient world, complete with long texts written on perishable materials. We demonstrate the impossibility of theExpand
The Indus Script--Write or Wrong?
For 130 years scholars have struggled to decipher the Indus script. Now, in a proposal with broad academic and political implications, a brash outsider claims that such efforts are doomed to failureExpand
Deciphering the Indus script
Part I. Introduction: 1. The Indus Civilization and its historical context Part II. The Indus Script: 2. Early writing systems 3. Deciphering an unknown script 4. Approaches to the Indus script 5.Expand
Last Words: Ancient Symbols, Computational Linguistics, and the Reviewing Practices of the General Science Journals
TLDR
Until recently nobody had argued that statistical techniques could be used to determine that a symbol system is linguistic, and it was therefore quite a surprise when a short article by Rajesh Rao of the University of Washington and colleagues at two appeared in Science. Expand
Statistical Analysis of the Indus Script Using n-Grams
TLDR
This work forms the basis for the development of a stochastic grammar which may be used to explore the syntax of the Indus script in greater detail and finds that a quadrigram Markov chain saturates information theoretic measures against a held-out corpus. Expand
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It is concluded that while the information is given in units of two, three or four signs, these are more like phrases where an additional sign is required to complete the grammatical structure. Expand
Entropic Evidence for Linguistic Structure in the Indus Script
TLDR
Analysis of the pattern of symbols confirms the linguistic role of ancient signs and shows that the script’s conditional entropy is closer to those of natural languages than various types of nonlinguistic systems. Expand
A Markov model of the Indus script
TLDR
Results indicate that the Indus script exhibits rich synactic structure and the ability to represent diverse content, both of which are suggestive of a linguistic writing system rather than a nonlinguistic symbol system. Expand
A Statistical Model for Lost Language Decipherment
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A method for the automatic decipherment of lost languages by employing a non-parametric Bayesian framework to simultaneously capture both low-level character mappings and high-level morphemic correspondences. Expand
Pictish symbols revealed as a written language through application of Shannon entropy
Many prehistoric societies have left a wealth of inscribed symbols for which the meanings are lost. For example, the Picts, a Scottish, Iron Age culture, left a few hundred stones expertly carvedExpand
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