Benford's Law in Linguistic Texts: Its Principle and Applications

언어 텍스트에 나타나는 벤포드 법칙: 원리와 응용

  • Received : 2010.05.17
  • Accepted : 2010.06.09
  • Published : 2010.06.30


This paper aims to propose that Benford's Law, non-uniform distribution of the leading digits in lists of numbers from many real-life sources, also appears in linguistic texts. The first digits in the frequency lists of morphemes from Sejong Morphologically Analyzed Corpora represent non-uniform distribution following Benford's Law, but showing complexity of numerical sources from complex systems like earthquakes. Benford's Law in texts is a principle reflecting regular distribution of low-frequency linguistic types, called LNRE(large number of rare events), and governing texts, corpora, or sample texts relatively independent of text sizes and the number of types. Although texts share a similar distribution pattern by Benford's Law, we can investigate non-uniform distribution slightly varied from text to text that provides useful applications to evaluate randomness of texts distribution focused on low-frequency types.