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Who Is Complex Systems For?

Complexity Science can be used by researchers and students from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. It is already applied in evolutionary biology, engineering, economics, and computer science, but students in the humanities can also utilize it to benefit their studies. The underlying principles of complexity science include many moving parts characterized by activity and interaction, responding to contingencies in the environment, which create emergent patterns.

Fractals in Language

Utilizing Big Data and digital tools, we know that language is self-similar at every level and across all different levels of scale. This is patterned in the form of the nonlinear asymptotic hyperbolic curve, which has been shown to occur with both lexical and phonetic items in language with data from the Linguistic Atlas project (Kretzschmar 2009, 2015). These linguistic fractals (or A-curves) match the way people use language in any given context and can be used to predict different outcomes for language use and variation.

Fractals and Complexity

Fractals are a major part of the underlying nature of complexity science. They occur because of the interaction emerging in any given complex system. Fractals are self-similar at every level; some examples are tree branches, leaf structures, the retina, and coastlines. Fractals are also part of the complex system of language, in every aspect of language in the form of nonlinear asymptotic hyperbolic curves.

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