Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: The challenges of statistical patterns of language: The case of Menzerath's law in genomes
Author: Ferrer i Cancho, Ramon
Forns Fradera, Núria
Hernández Fernández, Antoni
Bel Enguix, Gemma
Baixeries, Jaume
Keywords: Genomes
Issue Date: 12-Jan-2013
Publisher: Wiley Hindawi Publishing
Abstract: The importance of statistical patterns of language has been debated over decades. Although Zipf's law is perhaps the most popular case, recently, Menzerath's law has begun to be involved. Menzerath's law manifests in language, music and genomes as a tendency of the mean size of the parts to decrease as the number of parts increases in many situations. This statistical regularity emerges also in the context of genomes, for instance, as a tendency of species with more chromosomes to have a smaller mean chromosome size. It has been argued that the instantiation of this law in genomes is not indicative of any parallel between language and genomes because (a) the law is inevitable and (b) noncoding DNA dominates genomes. Here mathematical, statistical, and conceptual challenges of these criticisms are discussed. Two major conclusions are drawn: the law is not inevitable and languages also have a correlate of noncoding DNA. However, the wide range of manifestations of the law in and outside genomes suggests that the striking similarities between noncoding DNA and certain linguistics units could be anecdotal for understanding the recurrence of that statistical law.
Note: Reproducció del document publicat a:
It is part of: Complexity, 2013, vol. 18, num. 3, p. 11-17
Related resource:
ISSN: 1076-2787
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Genètica, Microbiologia i Estadística)

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
653474.pdf101.03 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons