<Language> STATISTICS IN LINGUISTICS

H. M. Hubey hubeyh at Montclair.edu
Wed Jan 27 00:20:36 UTC 1999

```Patrick C. Ryan wrote:

> What is somewhat frustrating is that you do not seem to realize that this is
> a statistical relationship; if what you are saying was absolutely true, we
> would be entitled to say that the probabilities were 100 out of 100. But, I
> think you know that these laws, while very reliable, do not *always* yield
> the anticipated forms.

Dead hit!  Certain or sure statements are of the type "X is 2Y with probability
1".
Impossible events are written as "X is 3Z with probability 0". For example,
the prob of throwing up 1,000 pennies and getting all heads is close enough to
zero to say it is zero. To see what it is; it is (0.5)^1000. Since 2^3 is 8
which is about 10,
then this is like 1/(10^300) or 10^-300. That is like 0.00000......0001 where
the number of zeros is about 300. That is close enough to be called zero.

M. Hubey
Email:          hubeyh at Montclair.edu    Backup:hubeyh at alpha.montclair.edu
WWW Page:       http://www.csam.montclair.edu/Faculty/Hubey.html

```

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