What role does syntax play in a language network?Haitao Liu and Fengguo Hu
Institute of Applied Linguistics, Communication University of China - CHN-100024 Beijing, China
received 17 April 2008; accepted in final form 19 May 2008; published July 2008
published online 13 June 2008
That almost all language networks are small-world and scale-free raises the question of whether syntax plays a role to measure the complexity of a language network. To answer this question, we built up two random language (dependency) networks based on a dependency syntactic network and investigated the complexity of these three language networks to see if the non-syntactic ones have network indicators similar to the syntactic one. The results show that all the three networks are small-world and scale-free. While syntax influences the indicators of a complex network, scale-free is only a necessary but not sufficient condition to judge whether a network is syntactic or non-syntactic. The network analysis focuses on the global organization of a language, it may not reflect the subtle syntactic differences of the sentence structure.
89.75.Hc - Networks and genealogical trees.
89.90.+n - Other topics in areas of applied and interdisciplinary physics.
© EPLA 2008