Aus unseren Neuerwerbungen – Sprachen und Literaturen allgemein 2023.8

Sta­tis­ti­cal uni­ver­sals of lan­guage: math­e­mat­i­cal chance vs. human choice
BuchcoverThis vol­ume explores the uni­ver­sal math­e­mat­i­cal prop­er­ties under­ly­ing big lan­guage data and pos­si­ble rea­sons why such prop­er­ties exist, reveal­ing how we may be uncon­scious­ly math­e­mat­i­cal in our lan­guage use. These prop­er­ties are sta­tis­ti­cal and thus dif­fer­ent from lin­guis­tic uni­ver­sals that con­tribute to describ­ing the vari­a­tion of human lan­guages, and they can only be iden­ti­fied over a large accu­mu­la­tion of usages. The book pro­vides an overview of state-of-the art find­ings on these sta­tis­ti­cal uni­ver­sals and recon­sid­ers the nature of lan­guage accord­ing­ly, with Zipf’s law as a well-known exam­ple.
The main focus of the book fur­ther lies in explain­ing the prop­er­ty of long mem­o­ry, which was dis­cov­ered and stud­ied more recent­ly by bor­row­ing con­cepts from com­plex sys­tems the­o­ry. The sta­tis­ti­cal uni­ver­sals not only pos­si­bly lie as the pre­cur­sor of lan­guage sys­tem for­ma­tion, but they also high­light the qual­i­ties of lan­guage that remain weak points in today’s machine learn­ing.
In sum­ma­ry, this book pro­vides an overview of language’s glob­al prop­er­ties. It will be of inter­est to any­one engaged in fields relat­ed to lan­guage and com­put­ing or sta­tis­ti­cal analy­sis meth­ods, with an empha­sis on researchers and stu­dents in com­pu­ta­tion­al lin­guis­tics and nat­ur­al lan­guage pro­cess­ing. While the book does apply math­e­mat­i­cal con­cepts, all pos­si­ble effort has been made to speak to a non-math­e­mat­i­cal audi­ence as well by com­mu­ni­cat­ing math­e­mat­i­cal con­tent intu­itive­ly, with con­cise exam­ples tak­en from real texts.
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Kin­dred Spir­its: Rep­re­sen­ta­tions of Alco­hol in Lit­er­a­ture and Film
BuchcoverThe book offers an invalu­able intro­duc­tion to the top­ic of the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of alco­hol in lit­er­a­ture and film from antiq­ui­ty to the present.
The first part deals with lit­er­a­ture and includes a geneal­o­gy of the rela­tion­ship between alco­hol and fic­tion. The authors set two Vic­to­ri­an ghost sto­ries and a Niger­ian phan­tas­magor­i­cal
fable as exam­ples of how alco­hol dilutes the bound­aries between the liv­ing and the dead. The part devot­ed to film approach­es the mat­ter of alco­hol both as a per­son­al vice and a vehi­cle of social inter­ac­tion. The authors explore Amer­i­can, Irish, and Pol­ish films, pay­ing par­tic­u­lar atten­tion to the mas­culin­i­ties they por­tray.
The whole vol­ume can serve as a text­book on these issues. The books and films ana­lyzed will con­sti­tute an ample read­ing and view­ing list for a uni­ver­si­ty course.
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