Topology of the conceptual network of language

Adilson E. Motter, Alessandro P S De Moura, Ying-Cheng Lai, Partha Dasgupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

204 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We define two words in a language to be connected if they express similar concepts. The network of connections among the many thousands of words that make up a language is important not only for the study of the structure and evolution of languages, but also for cognitive science. We study this issue quantitatively, by mapping out the conceptual network of the English language, with the connections being defined by the entries in a Thesaurus dictionary. We find that this network presents a small-world structure, with an amazingly small average shortest path, and appears to exhibit an asymptotic scale-free feature with algebraic connectivity distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number065102
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Volume65
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2002

Fingerprint

topology
Topology
thesauri
English language
Evolution of Language
Algebraic Connectivity
Cognitive Science
dictionaries
Thesaurus
Small World
entry
Shortest path
Express
Language
Dictionary
Concepts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics

Cite this

Topology of the conceptual network of language. / Motter, Adilson E.; De Moura, Alessandro P S; Lai, Ying-Cheng; Dasgupta, Partha.

In: Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, Vol. 65, No. 6, 065102, 06.2002.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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