Quantitative linguistics and Digital Humanities

The use of quantitative or lexicostatistical methods, the testing of hypotheses about the fractality of text and language, the analysis of the manifestations of the Menzerath-Altmann law - these are not the only directions in which the discipline of quantitative linguistics is moving. The discipline of Digital Humanities, on the other hand, explores classical objects of interest in the humanities, such as books or social media data, with the help of computers.

Current research activities

Among the current research directions of the department is the development of experimental activities, which by their nature often go beyond the traditional linguistic disciplines. For example, applications of the Menzerath-Altman law are studied and revised in detail, not only in the context of new concepts of linguistic units and segmentation principles. The principles of the use of Zipf's law, which is used across disciplines, are also being reviewed.

About Quantitative Linguistics and Digital Humanities

The field at the interface of linguistics and mathematics has undergone dynamic development since the 1950s. One part of mathematical linguistics is quantitative linguistics, which describes language by statistical methods, especially in terms of the frequency of its units. Currently, statistical and other quantitative methods are used in the study of text within the discipline of Digital Humanities.

By using supervised and unsupervised machine learning methods, we can classify a large number of texts based on their affiliation to language, author or style. Furthermore, we can perform content and network analyses and visualize their outputs using modern digital technologies.

Quantitative Linguistics and Digital Humanities at the Department of General Linguistics

The Department of General Linguistics offers students the opportunity to choose from a number of subjects directly related to the field of mathematical linguistics. Základy matematiky pro lingvisty (Fundamentals of Mathematics for Linguists) provides the apparatus needed for an introduction to the problems of exact processing of text samples and the subsequent evaluation of the plausibility of the experiments performed. The course is also the background and theoretical basis for the course Matematické modelování textu (Mathematical Modeling of Text), where the acquired knowledge is applied. The course Lingvistický experiment (Linguistic Experiment) introduces the students to the problems of designing an experiment from its beginning to the final stage of data processing with regard to their visualization and interpretation. In the elective seminars, students can also get a practical introduction to the Základy programování (Fundamentals of Programming) and the use of regular expressions.

Monographs and articles:

ANDRES, J., LANGER, J., MATLACH, V. Fractal-based analysis of sign language. Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation, 2020, roč. 2020, č. 84C, s. Nestránkováno. ISSN 1007-5704.DOI 10.1016/j.cnsns.2020.105214.


VALLO, Z., JAWOREK, R., MATLACH, V. Islamophobic Discourse of Czech Politicians and Political Parties on Twitter during the 2015 Migration Crisis. Journal of Nationalism Memory and Language Politics, 2020, roč. 14, č. 2, s. 152–176. ISSN 2570-5857.DOI 10.2478/jnmlp-2020-0009.


LANGER, J., ANDRES, J., BENEŠOVÁ, M., FALTÝNEK, D. Quantitative Linguistic Analysis of Czech Sign Language. Olomouc: Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci, 2020. 192 s. ISBN 978-80-244-5727-7.


LANGER, J., ANDRES, J., BENEŠOVÁ, M., FALTÝNEK, D. Some Aspects of a Sign Language Quantitative Analysis. Words and Numbers. In Memory of Peter Grzybek (1957-2019). Lüdenscheid : RAM-Verlag, 2020, s. 81-103. ISBN 978-3-942303-89-7.


OWSIANKOVÁ, H., KUČERA, O., FALTÝNEK, D. O příbuznosti lingvistiky a biologie. Studie z aplikované lingvistiky, 2020, roč. 11, č. 1, s. 79-93. ISSN 1804-3240.


OWSIANKOVÁ, H., FALTÝNEK, D., KUČERA, O. Genetic analysis of all cabbage and related cultivated plants using Bag-of-words model.. Linguistic Frontiers, 2019, roč. 1, č. 2, s. 122-132. ISSN 2544-6339.DOI 10.2478/lf-2018-0011.


FALTÝNEK, D., MATLACH, V., LACKOVÁ, Ľ. Bases are not letters: On the Analogy between the Genetic Code and Natural Language by Sequence Analysis. Biosemiotics, 2019, roč. 12, č. 2, s. 289-304. ISSN 1875-1342.DOI 10.1007/s12304-019-09353-z.


ANDRES, J., LANGER, J., BENEŠOVÁ, M. Towards a Fractal Analysis of the Sign Language. Journal of Quantitative Linguistics, 2019, roč. 2019, č. September, s. 1-18. ISSN 0929-6174.DOI 10.1080/09296174.2019.1656149.


PAVLAS, D., VRABEĽ, O., KOZMÉR, J. Applying MIPVU Metaphor Identification Procedure on Czech. Kübler, S. Zinsmeister, H. Proceedings of the Workshop on Annotation in Digital Humanities co-located with ESSLLI 2018. Aachen University : CEUR Workshop Proceedings, 2018, s. 37-40. ISSN 1613-0073.


KUČERA, O., FALTÝNEK, D., OWSIANKOVÁ, H., ŠAMAJOVÁ, K., ČIŽMÁROVÁ, R. Návrat čínského zelí do Evropy: o původu druhů.. Nový Orient, 2018, roč. 73, č. 2, s. 45-63. ISSN 0029-5302.


BENEŠOVÁ, M., FALTÝNEK, D., ZÁMEČNÍK HADWIGER, L. Functional explanation in synergetic linguistics. In RAM Verlag, 2018.


FALTÝNEK, D. Co je nového v lingvistice. Praha: Nová Beseda, 2017. 96 s.


LANGER, J., ANDRES, J., BENEŠOVÁ, M., FALTÝNEK, D. Testing Czech sign language by quantitative methods to increase teaching effectiveness. In Proceedings of INTED2017 Conference 6th-8th March 2017. Valencia: IATED, 2017, s. 4873-4882.


BENEŠOVÁ, M., BIRYUKOV, D., KOVAĽOVÁ, J., MATOUŠKOVÁ, L., MOTALOVÁ, T., VICHEROVÁ SCHUSTEROVÁ, D., VACULÍKOVÁ, P. Text Segementation for MAL Testing. Olomouc: Vydavatelství Univerzity Palackého, 2016. 154 s.


ŠAMAJOVÁ, K., KUČERA, O., FALTÝNEK, D., MATLACH, V. Autenticita kung-paa v českém prostředí - data-mining jídla. In Nový Orient, 2016, roč. 71, č. 3, s. 52-57.


BENEŠOVÁ, M., FALTÝNEK, D., ZÁMEČNÍK HADWIGER, L. Menzerath-Altmann Law in Differently Segmented Texts. In Recent Contributions to Quantitative Linguistics. Berlin: DE GRUYTER MOUTON, 2015, s. 27-40.


BENEŠOVÁ, M., BIRYUKOV, D. Application of the Menzerath-Altmann Law to contemporary written Japanese – short story style. In Recent Contributions to Quantitative Linguistics. Berlin : DE GRUYTER MOUTON, 2015, s. 13-26.


BENEŠOVÁ, M. Menzerath-Altmann Law Applied. Olomouc: Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci, 2014. 174 s.


ZÁMEČNÍK HADWIGER, L. The nature of explanation in synergetic linguistics. In Glottotheory, 2014, roč. 5, č. 1, s. 101-120.


ŠČIGULINSKÁ, J., SCHUSTEROVÁ, D. An Application of the Menzerath-Altmann Law to Contemporary Spoken Chinese. Olomouc: Univerzita Palackého, 2014. 131 s.


MOTALOVÁ, T., MATOUŠKOVÁ, L. An Application of the Menzerath-Altmann Law to Contemporary Written Chinese. Olomouc: Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci, 2014. 199 s.

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