19.111 phylogenetics of language

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 2 Jul 2005 10:32:16 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 111.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Sat, 02 Jul 2005 10:18:29 +0100
         From: "Jim Marchand" <marchand_at_uiuc.edu>
         Subject: phylogenetics of language

We have had discussions off and on on cladistics and the use of a
more rigorous `mathematical' approach to reconstruction and the
phylogenetics of languages. The last issue of _Language_, Vol. 81,
no. 2 (June, 2005) has a well-argued and documented article,
"Perfect phylogenetic networks: A new methodology for
reconstructing the evolutionary history of natural languages," by
Lucy Nakhleh, Don Ringe, and Tandy Warnow, pp. 382-420. I do not
buy into it, since most of our concepts, such as language, dialect,
idiolect, reconstructed language, etc. are ideal types rather than
Aristotelian (yes/no) concepts, but it is, as I said, well done and
well documented.
Received on Sat Jul 02 2005 - 05:47:43 EDT

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