Quantitative methods for Phylogenetic Inference in Historical Linguistics: An experimental case study of South Central Dravidian

01/03/2014
by   Taraka Rama, et al.
0

In this paper we examine the usefulness of two classes of algorithms Distance Methods, Discrete Character Methods (Felsenstein and Felsenstein 2003) widely used in genetics, for predicting the family relationships among a set of related languages and therefore, diachronic language change. Applying these algorithms to the data on the numbers of shared cognates- with-change and changed as well as unchanged cognates for a group of six languages belonging to a Dravidian language sub-family given in Krishnamurti et al. (1983), we observed that the resultant phylogenetic trees are largely in agreement with the linguistic family tree constructed using the comparative method of reconstruction with only a few minor differences. Furthermore, we studied these minor differences and found that they were cases of genuine ambiguity even for a well-trained historical linguist. We evaluated the trees obtained through our experiments using a well-defined criterion and report the results here. We finally conclude that quantitative methods like the ones we examined are quite useful in predicting family relationships among languages. In addition, we conclude that a modest degree of confidence attached to the intuition that there could indeed exist a parallelism between the processes of linguistic and genetic change is not totally misplaced.

READ FULL TEXT
POST COMMENT

Comments

There are no comments yet.

Authors

page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4

10/27/2021

Can Linguistic Distance help Language Classification? Assessing Hawrami-Zaza and Kurmanji-Sorani

To consider Hawrami and Zaza (Zazaki) standalone languages or dialects o...
07/17/2020

Constructing a Family Tree of Ten Indo-European Languages with Delexicalized Cross-linguistic Transfer Patterns

It is reasonable to hypothesize that the divergence patterns formulated ...
11/18/2014

Network Motifs Analysis of Croatian Literature

In this paper we analyse network motifs in the co-occurrence directed ne...
01/29/2018

Geospatial distributions reflect rates of evolution of features of language

Different structural features of human language change at different rate...
08/07/2019

Ab Antiquo: Proto-language Reconstruction with RNNs

Historical linguists have identified regularities in the process of hist...
10/21/2020

Deciphering Undersegmented Ancient Scripts Using Phonetic Prior

Most undeciphered lost languages exhibit two characteristics that pose s...
04/15/2018

Are Automatic Methods for Cognate Detection Good Enough for Phylogenetic Reconstruction in Historical Linguistics?

We evaluate the performance of state-of-the-art algorithms for automatic...
This week in AI

Get the week's most popular data science and artificial intelligence research sent straight to your inbox every Saturday.