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Last update: 16 July, 2022.
Launched: 27 December, 2011.

Note: the largest public bibliography of references on Zipf’s law for word frequencies is available here. Here we only offer a selection of references on Zipf’s law on animal behavior and organic chemistry.


Hint for browsing: Heaps’ law is another name for Herdan’s law.

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2022

Ferrer-i-Cancho, R.; Lusseau, D.; McCowan, B.

Parallels of human language in the behavior of bottlenose dolphins Journal Article

In: Linguistic Frontiers, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 5-11, 2022.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX | Tags: Law of meaning distribution, Meaning-frequency law, Menzerath-Altmann law, theory construction, Zipf's law for word frequencies, Zipf's law of abbreviation

Semple, S.; Ferrer-i-Cancho, R.; Gustison, M.

Linguistic laws in biology Journal Article

In: Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 53-66, 2022.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX | Tags: Law of meaning distribution, Meaning-frequency law, Menzerath-Altmann law, Zipf's law for word frequencies, Zipf's law of abbreviation

2021

Valente, Daria; Gregorio, Chiara De; Favaro, Livio; Friard, Olivier; Miaretsoa, Longondraza; Raimondi, Teresa; Ratsimbazafy, Jonah; Torti, Valeria; Zanoli, Anna; Giacoma, Cristina; Gamba, Marco

Linguistic laws of brevity: conformity in Indri indri Journal Article

In: Animal Cognition, 2021, ISSN: 1435-9456.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX | Tags: Menzerath-Altmann law, Zipf's law of abbreviation

Caetano-Anollés, Gustavo

The compressed vocabulary of microbial life Journal Article

In: Frontiers in Microbiology, vol. 12, pp. 1273, 2021, ISSN: 1664-302X.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX | Tags: Herdan's law, Menzerath-Altmann law, Zipf's law for word frequencies, Zipf's law of abbreviation

2020

Clink, Abdul Hamid Ahmad Dena J.; Klinck, Holger

Brevity is not a universal in animal communication: evidence for compression depends on the unit of analysis in small ape vocalizations Journal Article

In: Royal Society Open Science, pp. 7200151, 2020.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX | Tags: Menzerath-Altmann law, Zipf's law of abbreviation

Favaro, Livio; Gamba, Marco; Cresta, Eleonora; Fumagalli, Elena; Bandoli, Francesca; Pilenga, Cristina; Isaja, Valentina; Mathevon, Nicolas; Reby, David

Do penguins' vocal sequences conform to linguistic laws? Journal Article

In: Biology Letters, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 20190589, 2020.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX | Tags: Menzerath-Altmann law, Zipf's law of abbreviation

Huang, Mingpan; Ma, Haigang; Ma, Changyong; Garber, Paul A.; Fan, Pengfei

Male gibbon loud morning calls conform to Zipf's law of brevity and Menzerath's law: insights into the origin of human language Journal Article

In: Animal Behaviour, vol. 160, pp. 145 - 155, 2020, ISSN: 0003-3472.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX | Tags: Menzerath-Altmann law, Zipf's law of abbreviation

2019

Demartsev, Vlad; Gordon, Naomi; Barocas, Adi; Bar-Ziv, Einat; Ilany, Tchia; Goll, Yael; Ilany, Amiyaal; Geffen, Eli

The “Law of Brevity” in animal communication: Sex-specific signaling optimization is determined by call amplitude rather than duration Journal Article

In: Evolution Letters, vol. 3, no. 6, pp. 623-634, 2019.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX | Tags: Menzerath-Altmann law, Zipf's law of abbreviation

Heesen, Raphaela; Hobaiter, Catherine; Ferrer-i-Cancho, Ramon; Semple, Stuart

Linguistic laws in chimpanzee gestural communication Journal Article

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 286, no. 1896, pp. 20182900, 2019.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX | Tags: Zipf's law of abbreviation

2013

Ferrer-i-Cancho, Ramon; Hernández-Fernández, Antoni; Lusseau, David; Agoramoorthy, Govindasamy; Hsu, Minna J; Semple, Stuart

Compression as a Universal Principle of Animal Behavior Journal Article

In: Cognitive Science, vol. 37, no. 8, pp. 1565-1578, 2013.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX | Tags: Zipf's law of abbreviation

Ferrer-i-Cancho, R; Hernández-Fernández, A

The failure of the law of brevity in two New World primates. Statistical caveats Journal Article

In: Glottotheory, vol. 4, no. 1, 2013.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX | Tags: Zipf's law of abbreviation

Luo, B.; Jiang, T.; Liu, Y.; Wang, J.; Lin, A.; Wei, X.; Feng, J.

Brevity is prevalent in bat short-range communication Journal Article

In: Journal of Comparative Physiology A, vol. 199, iss. 4, pp. 325-333, 2013.

Abstract | BibTeX | Tags: Zipf's law of abbreviation

Semple, Stuart; Hsu, Minna J.; Agoramoorthy, Govindasamy; Ferrer-i-Cancho, Ramon

The Law of Brevity in Macaque Vocal Communication is not an Artefact of Analysing Mean Call Durations Journal Article

In: Journal of Quantitative Linguistics, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 209-217, 2013.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX | Tags: Zipf's law of abbreviation

2011

Bezerra, Bruna M; Souto, Antonio S; Radford, Andrew N; Jones, Gareth

Brevity is not always a virtue in primate communication Journal Article

In: Biology Letters, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 23-25, 2011.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX | Tags: Zipf's law of abbreviation

2010

Semple, Stuart; Hsu, Minna J; Agoramoorthy, Govindasamy

Efficiency of coding in macaque vocal communication Journal Article

In: Biology Letters, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 469-471, 2010.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX | Tags: Zipf's law of abbreviation

2009

Ferrer-i-Cancho, Ramon; Lusseau, David

Efficient coding in dolphin surface behavioral patterns Journal Article

In: Complexity, vol. 14, no. 5, pp. 23-25, 2009.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX | Tags: Zipf's law of abbreviation

1987

Hailman, J P; Ficken, M S; Ficken, R

Constraints on the structure of combinatorial "chick-a-dee" calls Journal Article

In: Ethology, vol. 75, pp. 62-80, 1987.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX | Tags: Zipf's law of abbreviation

1985

Hailman, J P; Ficken, M S; Ficken, R W

The 'chick-a-dee' calls of em Parus em atricapillus: a recombinant system of animal communication compared with written English Journal Article

In: Semiotica, vol. 56, pp. 121-224, 1985.

Links | BibTeX | Tags: Zipf's law of abbreviation

1978

Ficken, Millicent S; Hailman, Jack P; Ficken, Robert W

A model of repetitive behaviour illustrated by chickadee calling Journal Article

In: Animal Behaviour, vol. 26, pp. 630 - 631, 1978, ISSN: 0003-3472.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX | Tags: Zipf's law of abbreviation