I study cognitive foundations of the lexicon in computational terms. I am particularly interested in how word meanings are structured and conceived over time, such that a potentially infinite set of ideas may be expressed via compact lexicons in the world's languages. My approach combines rich empirical data with methods drawn from natural language processing and machine learning, with the goal of understanding and constructing the human lexicon.
- Ramiro, C., Srinivasan, M., Malt, B.C. and Xu, Y. (2018) Algorithms in the historical emergence of word senses. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1714730115.
- Kemp, C., Xu, Y., and Regier, T. (2018) Semantic typology and efficient communication. Annual Review of Linguistics, 4, 109-128.
- Xu, Y., Malt, B.C., and Srinivasan, M. (2017) Evolution of word meanings through metaphorical mapping: Systematicity over the past millennium. Cognitive Psychology, 96, 41-53.
- Cibelli, E., Xu, Y., Austerweil, J.L., Griffiths, T.L. and Regier T. (2016). The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and probabilistic inference: Evidence from the domain of color. PLOS ONE, 11(7): e0158725.
- Xu, Y., Regier, T. and Malt, B.C. (2016) Historical semantic chaining and efficient communication: The case of container names. Cognitive Science, 40(8), 2081-2094.