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 What's the semantic organization of human language?

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Date posted: 11/08/2009

A Chinese semantic network with semantic (argument structure) annotation was built and investigated for finding its global statistical properties. The results show that semantic network is also small-world and scale-free but it is different from syntactic network in hierarchical structure and correlation between the degree of a node and that of its neighbors.

Language networks are small-world and scale-free, although they are built based on different principles. Similar global statistical properties shown by language networks are independent of linguistic structure and typology. So, do linguistic structures really influence the statistical properties of a language network? More concretely, does semantic or conceptual network have the same properties as a syntactic one?

Institute of Applied Linguistics at Communication University of China has shown that dynamic semantic network of human language is also small-world and scale-free but it is different from syntactic network in hierarchical structure and node's degree correlation. The study is reported in Volume 54, Issue 16 (August 2008) of the Chinese Science Bulletin because of its significant scientific value.

"Semantic networks, in particular, dynamic semantic networks based on real language usage, are useful to explore the organization of human semantic (or conceptual) knowledge and human performance in semantic or knowledge processing, helpful to develop better natural language processing system," noted principal investigator Haitao Liu, professor and director of Institute of Applied Linguistics at Communication University of China. "This research is the first paper to observe the dynamic semantic networks of human language."

See the full Story via external site: www.physorg.com



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