The Emergence of Hubs in Complex Syntactic Networks and the DP Hypothesis: The Relevance of a Linguistic Analysis

  • Lluís Barceló-CoblijnEmail author
  • Maia Duguine
  • Aritz Irurtzun


A series of analyses of linguistic corpora of L1 acquisition of different languages (Catalan, Basque, Dutch, Italian, German, French, Spanish and English) showed that functional words emerge as hubs of the network. Such emergence always takes place late and abruptly, in coincidence with that of a new topology of the network: the small-world network. This kind of network is the middle stage between completely random and completely regular networks. In earlier analyses, determiners stood out among functional words as hubs in all languages, regardless of their linguistic phylogeny. But there are two different ways to analyze the syntactic relationship between determiners and nouns: determiners could either be “governors” or “dependents” of nouns. Here we explore the two possible analyses and argue that the first one should be preferred over the second one, in line with contemporary syntactic theorizing.



This research benefited from the following grants: EC FP7/SSH-2013-1 AThEME 613465 (European Commission), IT769-13 (Eusko Jaurlaritza), TIN2016-80347-R (MICINN), FFI2016-78034-C2-2-P and FEDER, FFI2017-87140-C4-1-P, FFI2014-53675-P (MINECO).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lluís Barceló-Coblijn
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maia Duguine
    • 2
  • Aritz Irurtzun
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Catalan Philology and General LinguisticsUniversity of the Balearic IslandsPalmaSpain
  2. 2.Centre National de la Recherche ScientifiqueIKER (UMR 5478)BayonneFrance

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