Language Diversity across the Consonant Inventories: A Study in the Framework of Complex Networks

Monojit Choudhury, Animesh Mukherjee, Anupam Basu, Niloy Ganguly, Ashish Garg, and Vaibhav Jalan

Abstract

In this paper, we attempt to explain the emergence of the linguistic diversity that exists across the consonant inventories of some of the major language families of the world through a complex network based growth model. There is only a single parameter

for this model that is meant to introduce a small amount of randomness in the otherwise preferential attachment based growth process. The experiments with this model parameter indicates that the choice of consonants among the languages within a family are far more preferential than it is across the families. Furthermore, our observations indicate that this parameter might bear a correlation with the period of existence of the language

families under investigation. These findings lead us to argue that preferential attachement seems to be an appropriate high level abstraction for language acquisition and change.

Details

Publication typeInproceedings
Published inProceedings of EACL(09) workshop on Cognitive Aspects of Computational Language Acquisition
URLhttp://www.aclweb.org/anthology/W/W09/W09-0907.pdf
Pages51 - 58
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics
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