Zipf distribution related characteristics of punctuation marks in narrative texts

Andrzej Kulig 1Stanisław Drożdż 1,2

1. Institut of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Science (IFJPAN), Radzikowskieg 152, Kraków 31-342, Poland
2. Cracow University of Technology, Institute of Computing Science, Al. Jana Pawła II 37, Kraków 31-864, Poland


Owing to their fundamental role in human life, natural languages - probably the most advanced examples of the complex systems - are intensively studied by linguists, biologists, physicists, and computer scientists. During their evolution natural languages developed remarkable, already identified, quantifiable patterns of behaviour such as hierarchical structure in their syntactic organization, a corresponding lack of characteristic scale as evidenced by the Zipf law, small world properties and long-range correlations in the use of words. The punctuation marks in narrative texts, apparently considered less relevant, are so far treated somewhat marginally. In this contribution, we therefore compare these marks with ordinary words and investigate their frequencies and their role in the word-adjacency networks. We in particular show that the punctuation marks, irrespective of the language studied, appear to obey the Zipfian rank-frequency proportions in line with the words.


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Presentation: Oral at 8 Ogólnopolskie Sympozjum "Fizyka w Ekonomii i Naukach Społecznych", by Andrzej Kulig
See On-line Journal of 8 Ogólnopolskie Sympozjum "Fizyka w Ekonomii i Naukach Społecznych"

Submitted: 2015-09-15 12:28
Revised:   2015-09-15 17:30