A Law of Word Meaning in Dolphin Whistle Types
AbstractWe show that dolphin whistle types tend to be used in specific behavioral contexts, which is consistent with the hypothesis that dolphin whistle have some sort of “meaning”. Besides, in some cases, it can be shown that the behavioral context in which a whistle tends to occur or not occur is shared by different individuals, which is consistent with the hypothesis that dolphins are communicating through whistles. Furthermore, we show that the number of behavioral contexts significantly associated with a certain whistle type tends to grow with the frequency of the whistle type, a pattern that is reminiscent of a law of word meanings stating, as a tendency, that the higher the frequency of a word, the higher its number of meanings. Our findings indicate that the presence of Zipf's law in dolphin whistle types cannot be explained with enough detail by a simplistic die rolling experiment.
Scifeed alert for new publicationsNever miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
- Get alerts for new papers matching your research
- Find out the new papers from selected authors
- Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
- Define your Scifeed now
Ferrer-i-Cancho, R.; McCowan, B. A Law of Word Meaning in Dolphin Whistle Types. Entropy 2009, 11, 688-701.
Ferrer-i-Cancho R, McCowan B. A Law of Word Meaning in Dolphin Whistle Types. Entropy. 2009; 11(4):688-701.Chicago/Turabian Style
Ferrer-i-Cancho, Ramon; McCowan, Brenda. 2009. "A Law of Word Meaning in Dolphin Whistle Types." Entropy 11, no. 4: 688-701.