Binomial elimination

Peter Rauch peterr at VIOLET.BERKELEY.EDU
Fri Mar 17 17:35:26 CST 1995

On Sat, 18 Mar 1995 01:04:40 +0100, Marco_Bleeker <mbleeker at EURONET.NL>
mused, among other comments:

>...  And
>because large numbers become only managable when dealt with in groups. This
>has perhaps more to do with the way the human mind works, than with a
>significant important structure in the natural order 'out there'... I doubt
>it, but even if this were true,

Marco, It _is_ true, according to some studies. The general phenomenon
is referred to as "lexical density".  For leads, check out:

Berlin, Brent. 1992. Ethnobotanical classification: Principles of
categorization on plants and animals in traditional societies. Princeton
University Press.

or, for an example regarding geographical locations, look at

Hunn, Eugene. 1994. Place-Names, Population Density, and the Magic
Number 500. Current Anthropology 35(1):81-85 (and Erratum, 35(3):232)

Peter R

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