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Keywords:

  • law of brevity;
  • word length;
  • coding;
  • information theory;
  • quantitative linguistics

Abstract

We show that the law of brevity, i.e. the tendency of words to shorten as their frequency increases, is also found in dolphin surface behavioral patterns. As far as we know, this is the first evidence of the law in another species, suggesting that coding efficiency is not unique to humans. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Complexity, 2009.