Lexical Networks in !Xung and Ju
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Linguistics Honors Theses; 2018
We investigate the lexical network properties of the large phoneme inventory Southern African languages Mangetti Dune !Xung and Ju|'hoansi as they compare to European languages. We conduct analyses over a range of lexicon sizes in search of disparities in the mental lexicons of the native speakers. We find no substantial disparity within these analyses so we continue on to simulate data ("pseudolexicons") with varying levels of phonotactic structure which find that the lexical network properties of !Xung and Ju diverge from European languages when fewer phonotactic constraints are retained. We conclude that lexical network properties are representative of an underlying cognitive structure which is necessary for efficient word retrieval and that the phonotactics of these languages are shaped by a selective pressure which preserve network properties within this cognitively useful range.
Academic Major: Computer Science and Engineering
Funded by NSF 1422987
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