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Probability for linguists

By John Goldsmith


This paper offers a gentle introduction to probability for linguists, assuming little or no background beyond what one learns in high school. The most important points that we emphasize are: the conceptual difference between probability and frequency, the use of maximizing probability of an observation by considering different models, and Kullback-Leibler divergence. Nous offrons une introduction élémentaire à la théorie des probabilités pour les linguistes. En tirant nos exemples de domaines linguistiques, nous essayons de mettre en valeur l’utilité de comprendre la différence entre les probabilités et les fréquences, l’évaluation des analyses linguistiques par la calculation de la probabilité quelles assignent aux données observées, et la divergence Kullback-Leibler.

Year: 2009
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