“Unified Modeling of Length in Language” (Studies in Quantitative Linguistics 16)

Studies in Quantitative Linguistics 16:

“Unified Modeling of Length in Language”

Contents Studies 16 (free of charge)  


The aim of this volume is to find a unified model of length Distribution of any unit in language. It is merely a trial leaning against published results. It is
impossible to perform the analysis for “all possible” units because only some of them are known and used, the Definition of new ones is the normal policy in
science. And even if a new unit is defined, it takes a special  place  in  the hierarchy  of  other  units  which  must  be  defined,  too.  Hence,  this  enterprise  is
We used published data from ca. 50 languages, their dialects and historical epochs.  It was impossible to use everything that has ever been published, it is already a  separate discipline within linguistics. The majority of data has been elaborated in several projects performed in Göttingen where also students took part in the work (cf. http://www.gwdg.de/~kbest/projekt.htm). Besides three volumes quoted in the references (cf. Best 1997, 2001; Grzybek 2006) there are a number of pblications in different journals.
Our main aim was to find a law of length and its special forms at individual language levels, that is, to avoid the search for ever new models whose validity is  always  merely  local: they hold for the given level in the given language and taken together form an enormous family of distributions. In the unified model there are merely differences in the parameters, and the Parameters themselves are part of a dynamic system displaying self -regulation. We hope that researchers will test it in further languages and on different linguistic levels.
Ioan-Iovitz Popescu
Karl-Heinz Best
Gabriel Altmann