Uncovering the differences in linguistic network dynamics of book and social media texts

Springerplus. 2016 Jun 24;5(1):864. doi: 10.1186/s40064-016-2598-2. eCollection 2016.


Complex network studies span a large variety of applications including linguistic networks. To investigate the differences in book and social media texts in terms of linguistic typology, we constructed both sequential and sentence collocation networks of book, Facebook and Twitter texts with undirected and weighted edges. The comparisons are performed using the basic parameters like average degree, modularity, average clustering coefficient, average path length, diameter, average link weight etc. We also presented the distribution graphs for node degrees, edge weights and maximum degree differences of the pairing nodes. The degree difference occurrences are furtherly detailed with the grayscale percentile plots with respect to the edge weights. We linked the network analysis with linguistic aspects like word and sentence length distributions. We concluded that linguistic typology demonstrates a formal usage in book that slightly deviates to informal in Twitter. Facebook interpolates between these media by the means of network parameters, while the informality of Twitter is mostly influenced by the character limitations.

Keywords: Complex networks; Linguistic evolution; Linguistic networks; Social media.