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Modeling linguistic evolution: a look under the hood


Cathcart, Chundra (2018). Modeling linguistic evolution: a look under the hood. Linguistics Vanguard, 4(1):n/a.

Abstract

This paper takes a detailed look at some popular models of evolution used in contemporary diachronic linguistic research, focusing on the continuous-time Markov model, a particularly popular choice. I provide an exposition of the math underlying the CTM model, seldom discussed in linguistic papers. I show that in some work, a lack of explicit reference to the underlying computation creates some difficulty in interpreting results, particularly in the domain of ancestral state reconstruction. I conclude by adumbrating some ways in which linguists may be able to exploit these models to investigate a suite of factors which may influence diachronic linguistic change.

Abstract

This paper takes a detailed look at some popular models of evolution used in contemporary diachronic linguistic research, focusing on the continuous-time Markov model, a particularly popular choice. I provide an exposition of the math underlying the CTM model, seldom discussed in linguistic papers. I show that in some work, a lack of explicit reference to the underlying computation creates some difficulty in interpreting results, particularly in the domain of ancestral state reconstruction. I conclude by adumbrating some ways in which linguists may be able to exploit these models to investigate a suite of factors which may influence diachronic linguistic change.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Comparative Linguistics
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
890 Other literatures
410 Linguistics
Language:English
Date:3 April 2018
Deposited On:01 Feb 2019 08:24
Last Modified:25 Sep 2019 00:19
Publisher:De Gruyter
ISSN:2199-174X
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2017-0043
Related URLs:https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/lingvan.2018.4.issue-1/lingvan-2017-0043/lingvan-2017-0043.xml?rskey=Y1ahgX&result=1&q=Cathcart (Publisher)

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