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A probabilistic assessment of the Indo-Aryan Inner–Outer Hypothesis


Cathcart, Chundra A (2020). A probabilistic assessment of the Indo-Aryan Inner–Outer Hypothesis. Journal of Historical Linguistics, 10(1):42-86.

Abstract

This paper uses a novel data-driven probabilistic approach to address the century-old Inner-Outer hypothesis of Indo-Aryan. I develop a Bayesian hierarchical mixed-membership model to assess the validity of this hypothesis using a large data set of automatically extracted sound changes operating between Old Indo-Aryan and Modern Indo-Aryan speech varieties. I employ different prior distributions in order to model sound change, one of which, the Logistic Normal distribution, has not received much attention in linguistics outside of Natural Language Processing, despite its many attractive features. I find evidence for cohesive dialect groups that have made their imprint on contemporary Indo-Aryan languages, and find that when a Logistic Normal prior is used, the distribution of dialect components across languages is largely compatible with a core-periphery pattern similar to that proposed under the Inner-Outer hypothesis.

Abstract

This paper uses a novel data-driven probabilistic approach to address the century-old Inner-Outer hypothesis of Indo-Aryan. I develop a Bayesian hierarchical mixed-membership model to assess the validity of this hypothesis using a large data set of automatically extracted sound changes operating between Old Indo-Aryan and Modern Indo-Aryan speech varieties. I employ different prior distributions in order to model sound change, one of which, the Logistic Normal distribution, has not received much attention in linguistics outside of Natural Language Processing, despite its many attractive features. I find evidence for cohesive dialect groups that have made their imprint on contemporary Indo-Aryan languages, and find that when a Logistic Normal prior is used, the distribution of dialect components across languages is largely compatible with a core-periphery pattern similar to that proposed under the Inner-Outer hypothesis.

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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
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Language and Linguistics
Social Sciences & Humanities > Linguistics and Language
Language:English
Date:May 2020
Deposited On:04 Sep 2020 13:45
Last Modified:13 Oct 2020 18:18
Publisher:John Benjamins Publishing
ISSN:2210-2116
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1075/jhl.18038.cat

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