Emergence of community structures in vowel inventories: An analysis based on complex networks

Animesh Mukherjee, Monojit Choudhury, Anupam Basu, and Niloy Ganguly

Abstract

In this work, we attempt to capture patterns of co-occurrence across vowel systems and at the same time figure out the nature of the force leading to the emergence of such patterns. For this purpose we define a weighted network where the vowels are the nodes and an edge between two nodes (read vowels) signify their co-occurrence likelihood over the vowel inventories. Through this network we identify communities of vowels, which essentially reflect their patterns of co-occurrence across languages. We observe that in the assortative vowel communities the constituent nodes (read vowels) are largely uncorrelated in terms of their features indicating that they are formed based on the principle of maximal perceptual contrast. However, in the rest of the communities, strong correlations are reflected among the constituent vowels with respect to their features indicating that it is the principle of feature economy that binds them together.

Details

Publication typeInproceedings
Published inProceedings of ACL SIGMORPHON9
URLhttp://aclweb.org/anthology-new/W/W07/W07-1313.pdf
Pages101-108
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics
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