An application of persistent homology and the graph theory to linguistics: The case of Tifinagh and Phoenician scripts


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Statistics in Transition New Series

Polish Statistical Association

Central Statistical Office of Poland

Subject: Economics, Statistics & Probability


ISSN: 1234-7655
eISSN: 2450-0291





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VOLUME 22 , ISSUE 3 (September 2021) > List of articles

An application of persistent homology and the graph theory to linguistics: The case of Tifinagh and Phoenician scripts

Hajar Bouazzaoui * / Mohamed Abdou Elomary * / My Ismail Mamouni *

Keywords : topological data analysis, persistent homology, graph theory, writing systems, Abjad scripts, Alphabet scripts, Tifinagh script, Phoenician script

Citation Information : Statistics in Transition New Series. Volume 22, Issue 3, Pages 141-156, DOI:

License : (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Received Date : 21-November-2019 / Accepted: 03-March-2021 / Published Online: 05-September-2021



As the origin of the Tifinagh script remains uncertain, this work aims at exploring its probable relatedness with the Phoenician script. Using tools from within topological data analysis and graph theory, the similarity between the two scripts is studied. The clustering of their letter shapes is performed based on the pairwise distances between their topological signatures. The ideas presented in this work can be extended to study the similarity between any two writing systems and as such can serve as the first step for linguists to determine the possibly related scripts before conducting further analysis.

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