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THE EVOLUTION OF A NATURAL LANGUAGE: DISSIPATION AND SELF-ORGANIZATION MECHANISMS

The paper presents a view of the natural language as a dissipative self-organizing system. Dissipation implies the possibility to reduce the amount of entropy, particularly when overcoming the state of dynamic chaos with a subsequent switch of evolutionary paradigm. Dissipation mechanisms play their part in both functioning of the language as it is and throughout its historical development. In the latter case, dissipation processes may be crucial, as shown on English data. Different dissipation mechanisms are present at different strata of a natural language thus determining different levels of uncertainty throughout the system. Thus, languages with well-developed morphology tend to have lower entropy levels than languages with degraded morphological categories. The latter, however, do not show a proportional growth of entropy. The disproportion is explained through compensatory mechanisms, most commonly word order and auxiliaries.

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