Linguistics and Information Theory: Analytic advantages

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The analytic advantages of central concepts from linguistics and information theory, and the analogies demonstrated between them, for understanding patterns of retrieval from full-text indexes to documents are developed. The interaction between the syntagm and the paradigm in computational operations on written language in indexing, searching, and retrieval is used to account for transformations of the signified or meaning between documents and their representation and between queries and documents retrieved. Characteristics of the message, and messages for selection for written language, are brought to explain the relative frequency of occurrence of words and multiple word sequences in documents. The examples given in the companion article are revisited and a fuller example introduced. The signified of the sequence stood for, the term classically used in the definitions of the sign, as something standing for something else, can itself change rapidly according to its syntagm. A greater than ordinary discourse understanding of patterns in retrieval is obtained.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-285
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Issue number2
Early online date27 Nov 2006
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences


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