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Technical Report: UTEP-CS-13-73

Published in International Mathematical Forum, 2014, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 189-192.


In most cases, linguists have a consensus on when people from different regions speak two different dialects of the same language (and can, thus, understand each other reasonably well) or two different languages (in this case, their mutual intelligibility is limited). In most cases, this intuitive consensus corresponds to a 70% mutual intelligibility threshold: if at least 70% of the words from one region are understandable to people from another region, then these are two dialects, otherwise these are two different languages. In this paper, we provide a possible explanation for this 70% threshold.

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