The Rank Hypothesis: A Statistical Relation between Rank and Frequency.
MARYLAND UNIV COLLEGE PARK COMPUTER SCIENCE CENTER
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The paper describes and studies a particular statistical relation, called the rank hypothesis, between the frequency and rank of arbitrary items. Many different linguistic and socio-economic phenomena have been observed to follow this relation. One is a linguistic phenomenon concerning the relation between the frequency and the rank of words. The necessary statistical preliminaries are presented and the empirical frequency distribution and rank distribution of Zipf are described. Theoretical 1-, 2-, and 3-parameter rank distributions which are based on the work of Zipf, Joos, and Mandelbrot, respectively, are defined and the linguistic implications of the corresponding mathematical models are investigated. Problems concerning the rank hypothesis are discussed to reveal areas of needed mathematical and linguistic research. Author
- Statistics and Probability