Self-Similarity in the Taxonomic Classification of Human Languages

  title={Self-Similarity in the Taxonomic Classification of Human Languages},
  author={Dami{\'a}n H. Zanette},
  journal={Advances in Complex Systems},
Statistical properties of the taxonomic classification of human languages are studied. It is shown that, at the highest levels of the taxonomic hierarchy, the frequency of taxon members as a function of the number of languages belonging to each member decays as a power law. This feature reveals that a self-similar structure underlies the taxonomy of languages, exactly as observed in the taxonomic classification of biological species. Such an analogy is a clue to the evolutionary foundation of… CONTINUE READING