Applying information theory to linguistics – MIT News Office

(…) The researchers’ hypothesis was born of an attempt to explain the peculiar results of an experiment reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2008; Brink reproduced the experiment as a class project for a course taught by Saxe. In the experiment, native English speakers were shown crude digital animations of simple events and asked to describe them using only gestures. Oddly, when presented with events in which a human acts on an inanimate object, such as a girl kicking a ball, volunteers usually attempted to convey the object of the sentence before trying to convey the verb — even though, in English, verbs generally precede objects. With events in which a human acts on another human, such as a girl kicking a boy, however, the volunteers would generally mime the verb before the object (…)

Applying information theory to linguistics – MIT News Office.

1 Response to “Applying information theory to linguistics – MIT News Office”


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