Paper: Discovering Global Patterns in Linguistic Networks through Spectral Analysis: A Case Study of the Consonant Inventories

ACL ID E09-1067
Title Discovering Global Patterns in Linguistic Networks through Spectral Analysis: A Case Study of the Consonant Inventories
Venue Annual Meeting of The European Chapter of The Association of Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 2009
Authors

Recent research has shown that language and the socio-cognitive phenomena asso- ciated with it can be aptly modeled and visualized through networks of linguistic entities. However, most of the existing works on linguistic networks focus only on the local properties of the networks. This study is an attempt to analyze the structure of languages via a purely struc- tural technique, namely spectral analysis, which is ideally suited for discovering the global correlations in a network. Appli- cation of this technique to PhoNet, the co-occurrence network of consonants, not only reveals several natural linguistic prin- ciples governing the structure of the con- sonant inventories, but is also able to quan- tify their relative importance. We believe that this powerful technique can be suc- cessfu...