University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > DAMTP Statistical Physics and Soft Matter Seminar > Emergence of order in random languages

Emergence of order in random languages

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  • UserEric DeGiuli (Ryerson University)
  • ClockTuesday 20 October 2020, 13:00-14:00
  • Housevia zoom (t.b.c.).

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Patrick Pietzonka.

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Many complex systems have a generative, or linguistic, aspect: life is written in the language of DNA ; protein structure is written in a language of amino acids, and human endeavour is often written in text. Are there universal aspects of the relationship between sequence and structure? I am trying to answer this question using models of random languages. Recently I proposed a model of random context-free languages [1] and showed using simulations that the model has a transition from an unintelligent phase to an ordered phase. In the former, produced sequences look like noise, while in the latter they have a nontrivial Shannon entropy; thus the transition corresponds to the emergence of information-carrying in the language. In this talk I will explain the basics of natural language syntax, without assuming any prior knowledge of linguistics. I will present the results from the model above, and explain how the model can be partially solved using Feynman diagrams [2].

[1] https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.128301

[2] https://arxiv.org/abs/1902.07516

This talk is part of the DAMTP Statistical Physics and Soft Matter Seminar series.

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