Least effort and the origins of scaling in human language

@article{Cancho2003LeastEA,
  title={Least effort and the origins of scaling in human language},
  author={Ramon Ferrer i Cancho and Ricard V. Sol{\'e}},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  year={2003},
  volume={100},
  pages={788 - 791}
}
  • R. F. Cancho, R. Solé
  • Published 22 January 2003
  • Physics
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
The emergence of a complex language is one of the fundamental events of human evolution, and several remarkable features suggest the presence of fundamental principles of organization. These principles seem to be common to all languages. The best known is the so-called Zipf's law, which states that the frequency of a word decays as a (universal) power law of its rank. The possible origins of this law have been controversial, and its meaningfulness is still an open question. In this article, the… 

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