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We have decided to discontinue the publication of preprints on our preprint server as of 1 March 2024. The publication culture within mathematics has changed so much due to the rise of repositories such as ArXiV ( that we are encouraging all institute members to make their preprints available there. An institute's repository in its previous form is, therefore, unnecessary. The preprints published to date will remain available here, but we will not add any new preprints here.

MiS Preprint

It Means More if It Sounds Good: Yet Another Hypotheses Concerning the Evolution of Polysemous Words

Ivan Yamshchikov, Cyrille Merleau Nono Saha, Igor Samenko and Jürgen Jost


This position paper looks into the formation of language and shows ties between structural properties of the words in the English language and their polysemy. Using Ollivier-Ricci curvature over a large graph of synonyms to estimate polysemy it shows empirically that the words that arguably are easier to pronounce also tend to have multiple meanings.

Mar 9, 2020
Mar 9, 2020
evolution of language, semantic structures, polysemy

Related publications

2020 Repository Open Access
Ivan P. Yamshchikov, Cyrille Merleau Nono, Igor Samenko and Jürgen Jost

It means more if it sounds good : yet another hypothesis concerning the evolution of polysemous words

In: Proceedings of the 5th international conference on complexity, future information systems and risk : COMPLEXIS 2020 ; May 8-9, 2020 ; Volume 1 / Reinhold Behringer... (eds.)
Setúbal (Portugal) : SCITEPRESS, 2020. - pp. 143-148