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A Systemic Dynamics Model of Text Production

Figueredo, Giacomo; Figueredo, Grazziela P.

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Giacomo Figueredo


This paper introduces a quantitative model of text as it unfolds in time. The model conceptualizes text as a functional unit of language. This organization can be difficult to identify because it forms complex patterns of linguistic laws, probability and dynamics. These patterns are covert configurations and need complex methods to be investigated. One such method is to draw from qualitative frameworks derived from the quantitative properties of language. Previous studies (Plum & Cowling, 1987; Rybicki & Eder, 2011; Zhang & Liu, 2017) have shown that covert configurations can be obtained through qualitative frameworks. When dynamics is considered, however, a model of text production including the variable time is needed. This paper therefore aims at addressing this research gap by proposing a dynamics model of text unfolding. It draws from systemic theory and models its categories quantitatively. Time is introduced as variation of choice. The model is applied to a sample of text. Results show how individual choices contribute to text unfolding – describing the amount of meanings at any given moment in text time. In addition, the dynamic accumulation indicates core characteristics of a text, which can be further explored in text behavior and typology.


Figueredo, G., & Figueredo, G. P. (2020). A Systemic Dynamics Model of Text Production. Journal of Quantitative Linguistics, 27(4), 291-320.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 29, 2018
Online Publication Date Feb 11, 2019
Publication Date 2020
Deposit Date Jan 3, 2019
Publicly Available Date Aug 12, 2020
Journal Journal of Quantitative Linguistics
Print ISSN 0929-6174
Electronic ISSN 1744-5035
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 4
Pages 291-320
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Jan 3, 2019


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