Paper: Modeling the Structure and Dynamics of the Consonant Inventories: A Complex Network Approach

ACL ID C08-1076
Title Modeling the Structure and Dynamics of the Consonant Inventories: A Complex Network Approach
Venue International Conference on Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 2008
Authors

We study the self-organization of the con- sonant inventories through a complex net- work approach. We observe that the dis- tribution of occurrence as well as co- occurrence of the consonants across lan- guages follow a power-law behavior. The co-occurrence network of consonants ex- hibits a high clustering coefficient. We propose four novel synthesis models for these networks (each of which is a refine- ment of the earlier) so as to successively match with higher accuracy (a) the above mentioned topological properties as well as (b) the linguistic property of feature economy exhibited by the consonant inven- tories. We conclude by arguing that a pos- sible interpretation of this mechanism of network growth is the process of child lan- guage acquisition. Such models essentially increase o...