Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9212538, 7 pages
Research Article

A Language as a Self-Organized Critical System

School of Applied Mathematics, Oles Honchar Dnipropetrovsk National University, Gagarina Av. 72, Dnipropetrovsk 49010, Ukraine

Correspondence should be addressed to Vasilii A. Gromov

Received 2 May 2017; Revised 3 September 2017; Accepted 31 October 2017; Published 19 November 2017

Academic Editor: Gerard Olivar

Copyright © 2017 Vasilii A. Gromov and Anastasia M. Migrina. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A natural language (represented by texts generated by native speakers) is considered as a complex system, and the type thereof to which natural languages belong is ascertained. Namely, the authors hypothesize that a language is a self-organized critical system and that the texts of a language are “avalanches” flowing down its word cooccurrence graph. The respective statistical characteristics for distributions of the number of words in the texts of English and Russian languages are calculated; the samples were constructed on the basis of corpora of literary texts and of a set of social media messages (as a substitution to the oral speech). The analysis found that the number of words in the texts obeys power-law distribution.