Ramon Ferrer i Cancho

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Words in human language interact in sentences in non-random ways, and allow humans to construct an astronomic variety of sentences from a limited number of discrete units. This construction process is extremely fast and robust. The co-occurrence of words in sentences reflects language organization in a subtle manner that can be described in terms of a graph(More)
The emergence of a complex language is one of the fundamental events of human evolution, and several remarkable features suggest the presence of fundamental principles of organization. These principles seem to be common to all languages. The best known is the so-called Zipf's law, which states that the frequency of a word decays as a (universal) power law(More)
Many languages are spoken on Earth. Despite their diversity, many robust language universals are known to exist. All languages share syntax, i.e., the ability of combining words for forming sentences. The origin of such traits is an issue of open debate. By using recent developments from the statistical physics of complex networks, we show that different(More)
We study the Euclidean distance between syntactically linked words in sentences. The average distance is significantly small and is a very slowly growing function of sentence length. We consider two nonexcluding hypotheses: (a) the average distance is minimized and (b) the average distance is constrained. Support for (a) comes from the significantly small(More)
We study the correlations in the connectivity patterns of large scale syntactic dependency networks. These networks are induced from treebanks: their vertices denote word forms which occur as nuclei of dependency trees. Their edges connect pairs of vertices if at least two instance nuclei of these vertices are linked in the dependency structure of a(More)
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