WorldWideScience

Sample records for glottochronology

  1. Glottochronology as a heuristic for genealogical language relationships

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wichmann, S.; Holman, E.W.; Müller, A.; Velupillai, V.; List, J.-M.; Belyaev, O.; Urban, M.; Bakker, D.

    2010-01-01

    This paper applies a computerized method related to that of glottochronology and addresses the question whether such a method is useful as a heuristic for identifying deep genealogical relations among languages. We first measure lexical similarities for pairs of language families that are normally

  2. Glottochronology and its application on the Balto-Slavic languages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petra Novotná

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available GLOTOCHRONOLOGIJA IR JOS TAIKYMAS BALTŲ IR SLAVŲ KALBOMS SantraukaStudijos tikslas – pamėginti nustatyti baltų ir slavų kalbų nuoseklios dezintegracijos absoliučiąją chronologiją. Šiam tikslui taikomas vadinamosios rekalibruotos glotochronologijos metodas, išplėtotas Sergejaus Starostino.Tyrimas įgalino gauti tokių rezultatų:Protoslavų dialektas išsikristalizavo 13 a. pr. Kr. protobaltų dialektinio kontinuumo pietiniame pakraštyje. Jį galima lokalizuoti plote nuo Silezijos iki centrinės Ukrainos ir tapatinti su vadinamąja Trzinieco-Komarovo kultūra.Tarp 9 ir 7 a. pr. Kr. protoprūsų kalba atsiskyrė nuo centrinio baltų dialekto, kuriam šiandien atstovauja lietuvių ir latvių kalbos. Tai koreliuoja su lavonų deginimo papročio atsiradimu Baltijos jūros pietiniame krante, rytų Pabaltijyje liekant mirusiųjų laidojimui žemėje.Pirmasis slavų dialektinio kontinuumo skilimas, datuojamas 6 a. pirmuoju trečdaliu ir sietinas su rytų slavais, turbūt atstovaujančiais seniesiems Antams ir bulgarams-makedonams. Šį atsiskyrimą galėjo sąlygoti avarai, nuo 658 m. gyvenę žemutinio Dono areale, arba kuri nors rytų germanų gentis – gotai, gepidai ar abi.Beveik tuo pačiu metu, apie 600 m., latvių protėviai atsiskyrė nuo lietuvių protėvių. Dėl vadinamųjų „Pogańske gwary z Narewu“ laikomasi W. P. Schmido (1986 išvados, kad žinomas žodynėlio fragmentas yra lietuvių, latvių ir šiaurės rytų jidiš kalbų mišinys. Taigi baltų dialektologijos požiūriu minimojo paminklo siejimą su jotvingiais reikia atmesti.Apie 720–740 m. suskilo  pietvakarių slavai. Vakarų slavai atsiskyrė 10 amžiuje, pietų slavai – apie 960 m., o rytų slavai tik 12 amžiuje. Ypatinga yra polabų kalbos padėtis: atrodo, kad ji atskilo nuo pietvakarių slavų kontinuumo dar prieš jo skaidymąsi, jei ne anksčiau.

  3. Automated dating of the world’s language families based on lexical similarity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Holman, E.W.; Brown, C.H.; Wichmann, S.; Müller, A.; Velupillai, V.; Hammarström, H.; Sauppe, S.; Jung, H.; Bakker, D.; Brown, P.; Belyaev, O.; Urban, M.; Mailhammer, R.; List, J.-M.; Egorov, D.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes a computerized alternative to glottochronology for estimating elapsed time since parent languages diverged into daughter languages. The method, developed by the Automated Similarity Judgment Program (ASJP) consortium, is different from glottochronology in four major respects:

  4. Automated dating of the world’s language families based on lexical similarity

    OpenAIRE

    Holman, E.; Brown, C.; Wichmann, S.; Müller, A.; Velupillai, V.; Hammarström, H.; Sauppe, S.; Jung, H.; Bakker, D.; Brown, P.; Belyaev, O.; Urban, M.; Mailhammer, R.; List, J.; Egorov, D.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes a computerized alternative to glottochronology for estimating elapsed time since parent languages diverged into daughter languages. The method, developed by the Automated Similarity Judgment Program (ASJP) consortium, is different from glottochronology in four major respects: (1) it is automated and thus is more objective, (2) it applies a uniform analytical approach to a single database of worldwide languages, (3) it is based on lexical similarity as determined from Leve...

  5. A note on statistical methods in comparative linguistics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cowan, H.K.J.

    1959-01-01

    It is desirable to distinguish between lexicostatistics as a means of proving relationships between languages or linguistic groups not previously known to be related, and glottochronology as a means of measuring the time depths of separations between languages or linguistic groups already known to

  6. Numerical Methods in Linguistics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Permanent link: https://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/010/01/0017-0024. Keywords. Indo-European ; glottochronology; Anafolian expansion; migration; Sanskrit; Proto-Indo-European. Author Affiliations. Raamesh Gowri Raghavan1. Division of Biochemical Sciences, National Chemical Laboratory Pune 411008, India.

  7. Resonance – Journal of Science Education | Indian Academy of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education. Raamesh Gowri Raghavan. Articles written in Resonance – Journal of Science Education. Volume 10 Issue 1 January 2005 pp 17-24 General Article. Numerical Methods in Linguistics - An Introduction to Glottochronology · Raamesh Gowri Raghavan.

  8. The Language Family Relation of Local Languages in Gorontalo Province (A Lexicostatistic Study)

    OpenAIRE

    Asna Ntelu; Dakia N Djou

    2017-01-01

    This study aims to find out the relation of language family and glottochronology of Gorontalo language and Atinggola language in Gorontalo Province. The research employed a comparative method, and the research instrument used a list of 200 basic Morris Swadesh vocabularies. The data source was from documents or gloss translation of 200 basic vocabularies and interview of two informants (speakers) of Gorontalo and Atinggola languages. Data analysis was done by using the lexicostatistic techniq...

  9. Language evolution and human history: what a difference a date makes

    OpenAIRE

    Gray, Russell D.; Atkinson, Quentin D.; Greenhill, Simon J.

    2011-01-01

    Historical inference is at its most powerful when independent lines of evidence can be integrated into a coherent account. Dating linguistic and cultural lineages can potentially play a vital role in the integration of evidence from linguistics, anthropology, archaeology and genetics. Unfortunately, although the comparative method in historical linguistics can provide a relative chronology, it cannot provide absolute date estimates and an alternative approach, called glottochronology, is fund...

  10. The Language Family Relation of Local Languages in Gorontalo Province (A Lexicostatistic Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asna Ntelu

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to find out the relation of language family and glottochronology of Gorontalo language and Atinggola language in Gorontalo Province. The research employed a comparative method, and the research instrument used a list of 200 basic Morris Swadesh vocabularies. The data source was from documents or gloss translation of 200 basic vocabularies and interview of two informants (speakers of Gorontalo and Atinggola languages. Data analysis was done by using the lexicostatistic technique. The following indicators were used to determine the word family: (a identical pairs, (b the word pairs have phonemic correspondences, (c phonetic similarities, and (d a different phoneme. The results of data analysis reveal that there are 109 or 55.05% word pairs of the word family out of 200 basic vocabularies of Swadesh. The results of this study also show that the glottochronology of Gorontalo language and Atinggola language are (a Gorontalo and Atinggola languages are one single language at 1.377 + 122 years ago, (b Gorontalo and Atinggola languages are one single language at 1,449 - 1,255 years ago. This study concludes that (a the relation of the kinship of these two languages is in the family group, (b glottochronology (separation time between Gorontalo language and Atinggola language is between 1.4 to 1.2 thousand years ago or in the 12th – 14th century. Keywords: relation, kinship level, local language, Gorontalo Province, lexicostatistics study

  11. Automated words stability and languages phylogeny

    OpenAIRE

    Petroni, Filippo; Serva, Maurizio

    2009-01-01

    The idea of measuring distance between languages seems to have its roots in the work of the French explorer Dumont D'Urville (D'Urville 1832). He collected comparative words lists of various languages during his voyages aboard the Astrolabe from 1826 to1829 and, in his work about the geographical division of the Pacific, he proposed a method to measure the degree of relation among languages. The method used by modern glottochronology, developed by Morris Swadesh in the 1950s (Swadesh 1952), m...

  12. Language evolution and human history: what a difference a date makes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Russell D; Atkinson, Quentin D; Greenhill, Simon J

    2011-04-12

    Historical inference is at its most powerful when independent lines of evidence can be integrated into a coherent account. Dating linguistic and cultural lineages can potentially play a vital role in the integration of evidence from linguistics, anthropology, archaeology and genetics. Unfortunately, although the comparative method in historical linguistics can provide a relative chronology, it cannot provide absolute date estimates and an alternative approach, called glottochronology, is fundamentally flawed. In this paper we outline how computational phylogenetic methods can reliably estimate language divergence dates and thus help resolve long-standing debates about human prehistory ranging from the origin of the Indo-European language family to the peopling of the Pacific.

  13. Lexical evolution rates derived from automated stability measures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petroni, Filippo; Serva, Maurizio

    2010-03-01

    Phylogenetic trees can be reconstructed from the matrix which contains the distances between all pairs of languages in a family. Recently, we proposed a new method which uses normalized Levenshtein distances among words with the same meaning and averages over all the items of a given list. Decisions about the number of items in the input lists for language comparison have been debated since the beginning of glottochronology. The point is that words associated with some of the meanings have a rapid lexical evolution. Therefore, a large vocabulary comparison is only apparently more accurate than a smaller one, since many of the words do not carry any useful information. In principle, one should find the optimal length of the input lists, studying the stability of the different items. In this paper we tackle the problem with an automated methodology based only on our normalized Levenshtein distance. With this approach, the program of an automated reconstruction of language relationships is completed.

  14. Malagasy dialects and the peopling of Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serva, Maurizio; Petroni, Filippo; Volchenkov, Dima; Wichmann, Søren

    2012-01-07

    The origin of Malagasy DNA is half African and half Indonesian, nevertheless the Malagasy language, spoken by the entire population, belongs to the Austronesian family. The language most closely related to Malagasy is Maanyan (Greater Barito East group of the Austronesian family), but related languages are also in Sulawesi, Malaysia and Sumatra. For this reason, and because Maanyan is spoken by a population which lives along the Barito river in Kalimantan and which does not possess the necessary skill for long maritime navigation, the ethnic composition of the Indonesian colonizers is still unclear. There is a general consensus that Indonesian sailors reached Madagascar by a maritime trek, but the time, the path and the landing area of the first colonization are all disputed. In this research, we try to answer these problems together with other ones, such as the historical configuration of Malagasy dialects, by types of analysis related to lexicostatistics and glottochronology that draw upon the automated method recently proposed by the authors. The data were collected by the first author at the beginning of 2010 with the invaluable help of Joselinà Soafara Néré and consist of Swadesh lists of 200 items for 23 dialects covering all areas of the island.

  15. Indo-European languages tree by Levenshtein distance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serva, M.; Petroni, F.

    2008-03-01

    The evolution of languages closely resembles the evolution of haploid organisms. This similarity has been recently exploited (Gray R. D. and Atkinson Q. D., Nature, 426 (2003) 435; Gray R. D. and Jordan F. M., Nature, 405 (2000) 1052) to construct language trees. The key point is the definition of a distance among all pairs of languages which is the analogous of a genetic distance. Many methods have been proposed to define these distances; one of these, used by glottochronology, computes the distance from the percentage of shared "cognates". Cognates are words inferred to have a common historical origin, and subjective judgment plays a relevant role in the identification process. Here we push closer the analogy with evolutionary biology and we introduce a genetic distance among language pairs by considering a renormalized Levenshtein distance among words with same meaning and averaging on all words contained in a Swadesh list (Swadesh M., Proc. Am. Philos. Soc., 96 (1952) 452). The subjectivity of process is consistently reduced and the reproducibility is highly facilitated. We test our method against the Indo-European group considering fifty different languages and the two hundred words of the Swadesh list for any of them. We find out a tree which closely resembles the one published in Gray and Atkinson (2003), with some significant differences.

  16. Measures of lexical distance between languages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petroni, Filippo; Serva, Maurizio

    2010-06-01

    The idea of measuring distance between languages seems to have its roots in the work of the French explorer Dumont D’Urville (1832) [13]. He collected comparative word lists for various languages during his voyages aboard the Astrolabe from 1826 to 1829 and, in his work concerning the geographical division of the Pacific, he proposed a method for measuring the degree of relation among languages. The method used by modern glottochronology, developed by Morris Swadesh in the 1950s, measures distances from the percentage of shared cognates, which are words with a common historical origin. Recently, we proposed a new automated method which uses the normalized Levenshtein distances among words with the same meaning and averages on the words contained in a list. Recently another group of scholars, Bakker et al. (2009) [8] and Holman et al. (2008) [9], proposed a refined version of our definition including a second normalization. In this paper we compare the information content of our definition with the refined version in order to decide which of the two can be applied with greater success to resolve relationships among languages.

  17. Language distance and tree reconstruction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petroni, Filippo; Serva, Maurizio

    2008-01-01

    Languages evolve over time according to a process in which reproduction, mutation and extinction are all possible. This is very similar to haploid evolution for asexual organisms and for the mitochondrial DNA of complex ones. Exploiting this similarity, it is possible, in principle, to verify hypotheses concerning the relationship among languages and to reconstruct their family tree. The key point is the definition of the distances among pairs of languages in analogy with the genetic distances among pairs of organisms. Distances can be evaluated by comparing grammar and/or vocabulary, but while it is difficult, if not impossible, to quantify grammar distance, it is possible to measure a distance from vocabulary differences. The method used by glottochronology computes distances from the percentage of shared 'cognates', which are words with a common historical origin. The weak point of this method is that subjective judgment plays a significant role. Here we define the distance of two languages by considering a renormalized edit distance among words with the same meaning and averaging over the two hundred words contained in a Swadesh list. In our approach the vocabulary of a language is the analogue of DNA for organisms. The advantage is that we avoid subjectivity and, furthermore, reproducibility of results is guaranteed. We apply our method to the Indo-European and the Austronesian groups, considering, in both cases, fifty different languages. The two trees obtained are, in many respects, similar to those found by glottochronologists, with some important differences as regards the positions of a few languages. In order to support these different results we separately analyze the structure of the distances of these languages with respect to all the others

  18. Language distance and tree reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petroni, Filippo; Serva, Maurizio

    2008-08-01

    Languages evolve over time according to a process in which reproduction, mutation and extinction are all possible. This is very similar to haploid evolution for asexual organisms and for the mitochondrial DNA of complex ones. Exploiting this similarity, it is possible, in principle, to verify hypotheses concerning the relationship among languages and to reconstruct their family tree. The key point is the definition of the distances among pairs of languages in analogy with the genetic distances among pairs of organisms. Distances can be evaluated by comparing grammar and/or vocabulary, but while it is difficult, if not impossible, to quantify grammar distance, it is possible to measure a distance from vocabulary differences. The method used by glottochronology computes distances from the percentage of shared 'cognates', which are words with a common historical origin. The weak point of this method is that subjective judgment plays a significant role. Here we define the distance of two languages by considering a renormalized edit distance among words with the same meaning and averaging over the two hundred words contained in a Swadesh list. In our approach the vocabulary of a language is the analogue of DNA for organisms. The advantage is that we avoid subjectivity and, furthermore, reproducibility of results is guaranteed. We apply our method to the Indo-European and the Austronesian groups, considering, in both cases, fifty different languages. The two trees obtained are, in many respects, similar to those found by glottochronologists, with some important differences as regards the positions of a few languages. In order to support these different results we separately analyze the structure of the distances of these languages with respect to all the others.

  19. Pluvial Phases In The Sahara During The Holocene: A Multi-disciplinary Comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnikel, F.; Becht, M.

    The understanding of low latitude palaeoclimatic dynamics is incomplete without a thorough analysis of the wide-spread fluctuations between humid and arid phases in the Sahara. It is especially the holocene that has been scrutinized in respect to lake and river deposits, pollen analysis, macrorest analysis, groundwater dating, remote sensing, pedology, archaeology and even glottochronology. During the last decades a lot of teams from different countries (e.g. French in the west and south, Germans in the south and east, Americans, Italians and Polish in the east and many more) have evaluated numerous data gained from different disciplines all over the Sahara. Inten- sive work has shed new light on climate dynamics especially in the eastern part. But even there, as in other parts as well, the data are insufficient to explain palaeoclimatic variability to a satisfying degree. Meticulous analysis of the published data has shown grave inconsistencies between the different disciplines concerning dates for pluvial phases (differences up to several millenia), the intensity of rainfall, the face of the palaeoenvironment and the like. Our aim is to show the areas that lack sufficient data and to point out the huge problems that arise from the differing research results in other parts. Since a valid assessment of holocene palaeoclimatic dynamics for large parts of the globe is unthinkable without a proper understanding of emergence, form and ending of pluvial phases in the Sahara, more multi-disciplinary work is neces- sary. Furthermore, all data, especially the radiocarbon datings, need to be collected and made accessible for all disciplines in a data bank.