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Towards a Formal Model of Language Networks

Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS,volume 538)


Multilayer networks and related concepts have been used for description and analysis of complex systems in many fields, such as for example biological, physical, social and information systems. In this paper we present the first steps towards defining a formal model for language networks representation - Multilayer Language Network (MLN) which is based on multilayer network formalism and which is suitable for representation, analysis and comparison of languages both in their entirety as well as in their various characteristics and complexity. The goal of this research is to define a universal formal model for languages, capturing various language levels (subsystems) and various language characteristics. As a starting point we apply standard network diagnostics on an MLN model for an English and Croatian text, considering word, syllable and grapheme language subsystems and various construction principles, and present obtained results.


  • Language Subsystems
  • Multilayer Network
  • Interlayer Edges
  • Giant Connected Component (GCC)
  • Hierarchy Perspective

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This work has been supported in part by the University of Rijeka under the LangNet project (

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Correspondence to Tajana Ban Kirigin .

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Ban Kirigin, T., Meštrović, A., Martinčić-Ipšić, S. (2015). Towards a Formal Model of Language Networks. In: Dregvaite, G., Damasevicius, R. (eds) Information and Software Technologies. ICIST 2015. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol 538. Springer, Cham.

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