Fast and Easy: Approximating Uniform Information Density in Language Production

Abstract

A model of sentence production is presented, which implements a strategy that produces sentences with more uniform surprisal profiles, as compared to other strategies, and in accordance to the Uniform Information Density Hypothesis (Jaeger, 2006; Levy & Jaeger, 2007). The model operates at the algorithmic level combining information concerning word probabilities and sentence lengths, representing a first attempt to model UID as resulting from underlying factors during language production. The sentences produced by this model showed indeed the expected tendency, having more uniform surprisal profiles and lower average word surprisal, in comparison to other production strategies.


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