A Quantitative Approach to the Study on Length-Frequency Relationship of English Patterns

Pattern grammar, length, frequency, register


  • Yi Cheng
    School of International Studies, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
March 31, 2023


As a master of lexicology and corpus-driven linguistic studies, pattern grammar shares the features of concern on collocation and approximation to natural language, which provides an optimization idea for the extensively used phrase structure grammar and dependency grammar in natural language processing. This research adopts the methods of quantitative linguistics, taking patterns as the research focus to explore the length-frequency relationship of patterns, verify Zipf law and synergic linguistic model in respect of patterns, and analyze the usage characteristics of patterns in different registers. The results have demonstrated that Zipf's law is also applicable to patterns, and the synergic linguistic model shows a preferable goodness of fit on the description of the pattern length-frequency relations. This study provides bidirectional contributions to pattern grammar and the synergic relationship between length and frequency. In addition, it offers a refinement method for the application of patterns in different registers.