We introduce IDeaL (Information Density and Linguistic Encoding), a collaborative research center that investigates the hypothesis that language use may be driven by the optimal use of the communication channel. From the point of view of linguistics, our approach promises to shed light on selected aspects of language variation that are hitherto not sufficiently explained. Applications of our research can be envisaged in various areas of natural language processing and AI, including machine translation, text generation, speech synthesis and multimodal interfaces.

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