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Journal of Applied Mathematics
Volume 2014, Article ID 123983, 9 pages
Research Article

Reconstruction of Uncertain Historical Evolution of the Polysyllablization of Chinese Lexis

1College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Beijing Language and Culture University, Beijing 100083, China
2College of Software, Henan University, Kaifeng, Henan 475001, China

Received 9 February 2014; Revised 17 June 2014; Accepted 25 June 2014; Published 13 July 2014

Academic Editor: Guiming Luo

Copyright © 2014 Bing Qiu and Jie Li. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Polysyllablization, closely related to phonetics, semantics, and syntactics, is one of the fundamental trends in the development of Chinese lexis. However, with lots of uncertainties in the historical evolution of Chinese language, the quantitative modeling and reconstruction of polysyllablization remain open questions. Based on the Comprehensive Dictionary of Chinese Words, a mapping from the words to their time of occurrence is built. With the inverse mapping on random samples, the newly produced words with different numbers of syllables in different time periods are obtained. Finally the total quadratic variation minimization model is adopted to estimate the trend of polysyllablization. As a novel exploration in the computational linguistics, the results agree with the stage division of historical Chinese and answer some difficult questions related to polysyllablization in a quantitative manner.