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The Future of the Comparative Method

The Future of the Comparative Method

Talk, held at the conference "Integrating inferences about our past - New findings and current issues in the peopling of the Pacific and SouthEast Asia" (2015-06-22/23, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena),

Johann-Mattis List

June 22, 2015
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  1. The Future of the Comparative Method
    Towards a Computer-Assisted Framework of Linguistic Reconstruction
    Johann-Mattis List
    DFG research fellow
    Centre des recherches linguistiques sur l’Asie Orientale
    Team Adaptation, Integration, Reticulation, Evolution
    EHESS and UPMC, Paris
    2015-06-22
    1 / 20

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  2. Background
    Background
    2 / 20

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  3. Background Definitions
    Definitions
    3 / 20

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  4. Background Definitions
    Definitions
    In linguistics, the comparative method is a technique for
    studying the development of languages by performing a
    feature-by-feature comparison of two or more languages with
    common descent from a shared ancestor, as opposed to the
    method of internal reconstruction, which analyses the internal
    development of a single language over time.
    Wikipedia s.v. "Comparative Method"
    The method of comparing languages to determine whether and
    how they have developed from a common ancestor. The items
    compared are lexical and grammatical units, and the aim is to
    discover correspondences relating sounds in two or more di�erent
    languages, which are so numerous and so regular, across sets of
    units with similar meanings, that no other explanation is
    reasonable.
    Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics (Matthews 1997)
    The comparative is both the earliest and the most important
    of the methods of reconstruction. Most of the major
    insights into the prehistory of languages have been gained by
    the applications of this method, and most reconstructions
    have been based on it.
    Fox (1995)
    The Comparative Method is the central tool in
    historical linguistics for historical
    reconstruction and also classifying languages.
    A classi�cation done with the Comparative
    Method is called a genetic classi�cation. The
    result is that languages are arranged in language
    family trees. This means that languages are
    classi�ed according to their genealogical
    relationships2 and are interpreted as being in
    relation of child- or sisterhood to other
    languages. Such a way of classifying entities is
    called phylogenetic classi�cation in biology; a
    classi�cation by genealogical relationships.
    Fleischhauer (2009)
    The method of comparatistics today is generally known
    under the not very well-chosen term "comparative-historical
    method". It constitutes a huge complex of abstract and
    concrete procedures for the investigation of the history
    of related languages which genetically go back to some
    unofrom tradition of the past.
    Klimov (1990), my translation
    → comparative linguistics, reconstruction
    Routledge Dictionary of Language and Linguistics
    (Bussmann 1996)
    3 / 20

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  5. Background Definitions
    Definitions
    Scholar
    Proof of
    Relationship
    Study of
    Language History
    External
    Reconstruction
    Linguistic
    Reconstruction
    Language
    Classification
    Anttila (1972) ✓ ✓
    Bußmann (2002) ✓
    Fleischhauer (2009) ✓
    Fox (1995) ✓
    Glück (2000) ✓
    Harrison (2003) ✓
    Hoenigswald (1960) ✓
    Jarceva (1990) ✓
    Klimov (1990) ✓ ✓
    Lehmann (1969) ✓
    Makaev (1977) ✓
    Matthews (1997) ✓
    Rankin (2003) ✓
    3 / 20

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  6. Background Definitions
    Definitions
    Working Definition for the Comparative Method
    The comparative method is a bunch of techniques that are
    commonly used by historical linguists in order to reconstruct
    the history of languages and language families.
    3 / 20

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  7. Background Workflows
    Workflows
    4 / 20

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  8. Background Workflows
    Workflows
    Workflow by Ross and Durie (1996)
    1. Determine on the strength of diagnostic evidence that a set of languages are
    genetically related, that is, that they constitute a ‘family’;
    2. Collect putative cognate sets for the family (both morphological paradigms and
    lexical items).
    3. Work out the sound correspondences from the cognate sets, putting ‘irregular’
    cognate sets on one side;
    4. Reconstruct the protolanguage of the family as follows:
    a Reconstruct the protophonology from the sound correspondences worked out
    in (3), using conventional wisdom regarding the directions of sound changes.
    b Reconstruct protomorphemes (both morphological paradigms and lexical items)
    from the cognate sets collected in (2), using the protophonology reconstructed
    in (4a).
    5. Establish innovations (phonological, lexical, semantic, morphological, morpho-
    syntactic) shared by groups of languages within the family relative to the recon-
    structed protolanguage.
    6. Tabulate the innovations established in (5) to arrive at an internal classification
    of the family, a ‘family tree’.
    7. Construct an etymological dictionary, tracing borrowings, semantic change, and
    so forth, for the lexicon of the family (or of one language of the family).
    4 / 20

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  9. Background Workflows
    Workflows
    PHONOLOGICAL
    AND MORPHOLOGICAL
    RECONSTRUCTION
    IDENTIFICATION
    OF
    INNOVATIONS
    RECONSTRUCTION
    OF
    PHYLOGENIES
    PUBLISH
    ETYMOLOGICAL
    DICTIONARY
    PROOF OF
    LANGUAGE
    RELATIONSHIP
    SOUND
    CORRESPONDENCE
    IDENTIFICATION
    COGNATE
    SET
    IDENTIFICATION
    Tentative Visualization of the Workflow by Ross and Durie (1996: 6f) 4 / 20

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  10. Background Workflows
    Workflows
    proof of
    relationship
    identification
    of cognates
    identification of
    sound correspondences
    reconstruction
    of proto-forms
    internal
    classification
    revise
    revise
    revise
    revise
    Simplified Version of Ross and Durie’s Workflow (List 2014: 58) 4 / 20

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  11. Problems
    Problems
    5 / 20

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  12. Problems Application
    Application
    6 / 20

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  13. Problems Application
    Application
    PHONOLOGICAL
    AND MORPHOLOGICAL
    RECONSTRUCTION
    IDENTIFICATION
    OF
    INNOVATIONS
    RECONSTRUCTION
    OF
    PHYLOGENIES
    PUBLISH
    ETYMOLOGICAL
    DICTIONARY
    PROOF OF
    LANGUAGE
    RELATIONSHIP
    SOUND
    CORRESPONDENCE
    IDENTIFICATION
    COGNATE
    SET
    IDENTIFICATION
    6 / 20

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  14. Problems Application
    Application
    PHONOLOGICAL
    AND MORPHOLOGICAL
    RECONSTRUCTION
    IDENTIFICATION
    OF
    INNOVATIONS
    RECONSTRUCTION
    OF
    PHYLOGENIES
    PUBLISH
    ETYMOLOGICAL
    DICTIONARY
    PROOF OF
    LANGUAGE
    RELATIONSHIP
    SOUND
    CORRESPONDENCE
    IDENTIFICATION
    COGNATE
    SET
    IDENTIFICATION
    TIME CONSUMING...
    6 / 20

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  15. Problems Application
    Application
    PHONOLOGICAL
    AND MORPHOLOGICAL
    RECONSTRUCTION
    IDENTIFICATION
    OF
    INNOVATIONS
    RECONSTRUCTION
    OF
    PHYLOGENIES
    PUBLISH
    ETYMOLOGICAL
    DICTIONARY
    PROOF OF
    LANGUAGE
    RELATIONSHIP
    SOUND
    CORRESPONDENCE
    IDENTIFICATION
    COGNATE
    SET
    IDENTIFICATION
    TIME CONSUMING...
    TEDIOUS...
    6 / 20

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  16. Problems Representation
    Representation
    7 / 20

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  17. Problems Representation
    Representation
    Frucht, ferner fruchten, befruchten, Befruchtung,
    fruchtbar, fruchtig
    Frucht f. ‘der Fortpflanzung der eigenen Art dienendes
    Produkt einer Pflanze’, auch ‘ungeborenes Lebewesen’,
    übertragen ‘Ertrag’, ahd. fruht (9. Jh.), mhd. vruht,
    asächs. fruht, mnd. mnl. nl. vrucht beruhen auf einer
    frühen Entlehnung von gleichbed. lat. frūctus,
    abgeleitet vom Verb lat. fruī (frūctus sum) ‘genießen,
    Nutzen ziehen’ (verwandt mit brauchen, s. d.). Das
    Deminutiv Früchtchen hat die spezielle Bedeutung
    [...]
    German "Frucht" in Pfei�er (1993, also at http://dwds.de)
    7 / 20

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  18. Problems Representation
    Representation
    Frucht, ferner fruchten, befruchten, Befruchtung,
    fruchtbar, fruchtig
    Frucht f. ‘der Fortpflanzung der eigenen Art dienendes
    Produkt einer Pflanze’, auch ‘ungeborenes Lebewesen’,
    übertragen ‘Ertrag’, ahd. fruht (9. Jh.), mhd. vruht,
    asächs. fruht, mnd. mnl. nl. vrucht beruhen auf einer
    frühen Entlehnung von gleichbed. lat. frūctus,
    abgeleitet vom Verb lat. fruī (frūctus sum) ‘genießen,
    Nutzen ziehen’ (verwandt mit brauchen, s. d.). Das
    Deminutiv Früchtchen hat die spezielle Bedeutung
    [...]
    German "Frucht" in Pfei�er (1993,
    also at http://dwds.de
    7 / 20

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  19. Problems Representation
    Representation
    Frucht, ferner fruchten, befruchten, Befruchtung,
    fruchtbar, fruchtig
    Frucht f. ‘der Fortpflanzung der eigenen Art dienendes
    Produkt einer Pflanze’, auch ‘ungeborenes Lebewesen’,
    übertragen ‘Ertrag’, ahd. fruht (9. Jh.), mhd. vruht,
    asächs. fruht, mnd. mnl. nl. vrucht beruhen auf einer
    frühen Entlehnung von gleichbed. lat. frūctus,
    abgeleitet vom Verb lat. fruī (frūctus sum) ‘genießen,
    Nutzen ziehen’ (verwandt mit brauchen, s. d.). Das
    Deminutiv Früchtchen hat die spezielle Bedeutung
    [...]
    inherited from
    borrowed from
    derived from
    PIE *bhreu◌◌̯
    Hg◌

    ̑
    -
    “to use”
    PIE *bhruHg◌

    ̑
    -ié-
    “to use” (present tense)
    PGM *ƀrūkan-
    “to use”
    OHG brūhhan
    “to use”
    G brauchen
    “to use”
    G Brauch
    “custom”
    OHG fruht
    “profit, fruit”
    G frugal
    “modest (food)”
    Fr fruit
    “profit,fruit”
    Fr frugal
    “modest (food)”
    Lt fruor, fruī
    “I enjoy”
    Lt frūctus
    “profit”
    Lt frux
    “fruit, grain”
    Lt frugalis
    “bring profit”
    Adapted from an Illustration by Hans Geisler (University Düsseldorf)
    German "Frucht" in Pfei�er (1993,
    also at http://dwds.de
    7 / 20

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  20. Problems Representation
    Representation
    Entry for PIE *kʷetware in Tower of Babel (http://starling.rinet.ru) 7 / 20

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  21. Problems Representation
    Representation
    Insufficiencies of Data Representation
    data in “textual form” (impossible to search it efficiently)
    no standardized phonetic representations
    no standardized glosses for meanings
    no standardized names or abbreviations for language
    and dialect names
    no standardized representation of sound
    correspondences
    no standardized assignment of cognate sets and
    borrowings
    ...
    8 / 20

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  22. Problems Replication
    Replication
    9 / 20

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  23. Problems Replication
    Replication
    Gloss Blust Pawley Distance
    “day” *qaco *qaco 0
    “to spit” *qanusi *qanusi 0
    “person” *taumataq *tamwata 3
    “to vomit” *mumutaq *mumuta 1
    “name” *ŋajan *qajan 1
    “snake” *mwata *mwata 0
    “man” *mwa ruqane *taumwaqane 5
    “four” *pani *pat 2
    “one” *sakai *tasa 3
    ... ... ... ...
    Disagreement between experts on PO reconstructions (Bouchard-Côté et al. 2014) 9 / 20

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  24. Problems Replication
    Replication
    Reproducability Problems in Historical Linguistics
    Scholars disagree on many points in historical linguistics, be
    it the number of laryngeals, the position of Baltic and Slavic,
    or whether a given word was borrowed or not.
    We know well that no two etymological dictionaries for the sa-
    me language or language families are completely identical.
    Unfortunately, we lack a rigorous check to which degree ex-
    perts actually agree or disagree in their judgments. We also
    lack methods for evaluation which would help us to show to
    which degree a given hypothesis (a reconstruction, a family
    tree, or an etymology) corresponds with our linguistic data.
    9 / 20

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  25. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method
    Towards a Computer-Assisted
    Comparative Method
    10 / 20

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  26. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method
    P(A|B)=(P(B|A)P(A))/(P(B)
    FRANZ BOPP
    VERY,
    VERY
    LONG
    TITLE
    11 / 20

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  27. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method
    PRO:
    - intuition
    - background knowledge
    - can juggle with multiple types of evidence
    CONTRA:
    - has to sleep and rest
    - does not like to count and do boring work
    - can oversee facts when doing boring work
    CONTRA:
    - no intuition
    - no background knowledge
    - can't juggle with multiple types of evidence
    PRO:
    - doesn't need to sleep
    - is very good at counting and boring work
    - doesn't make errors in boring work
    P(A|B)=(P(B|A)P(A))/(P(B)
    FRANZ BOPP
    VERY,
    VERY
    LONG
    TITLE
    11 / 20

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  28. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method
    PRO:
    - intuition
    - background knowledge
    - can juggle with multiple types of evidence
    CONTRA:
    - has to sleep and rest
    - does not like to count and do boring work
    - can oversee facts when doing boring work
    CONTRA:
    - no intuition
    - no background knowledge
    - can't juggle with multiple types of evidence
    PRO:
    - doesn't need to sleep
    - is very good at counting and boring work
    - doesn't make errors in boring work
    P(A|B)=(P(B|A)P(A))/(P(B)
    FRANZ BOPP
    VERY,
    VERY
    LONG
    TITLE
    11 / 20

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  29. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method
    PRO:
    - intuition
    - background knowledge
    - can juggle with multiple types of evidence
    CONTRA:
    - has to sleep and rest
    - does not like to count and do boring work
    - can oversee facts when doing boring work
    CONTRA:
    - no intuition
    - no background knowledge
    - can't juggle with multiple types of evidence
    PRO:
    - doesn't need to sleep
    - is very good at counting and boring work
    - doesn't make errors in boring work
    P(A|B)=(P(B|A)P(A))/(P(B)
    FRANZ BOPP
    VERY,
    VERY
    LONG
    TITLE
    COMPUTER-ASSISTED LANGUAGE COMPARISON
    11 / 20

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  30. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Standards
    Standards
    12 / 20

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  31. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Standards
    Standards: Concept Labeling
    12 / 20

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  32. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Standards
    Standards: Concept Labeling
    Concept List # Items Concept Label Concept ID
    Allen (2007) 500 animal oil; 动物油(脂肪) GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    Gregersen (1976) 217 fat-grease*fat-grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    Heggarty (2005) 150 fat (grease); grasa GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    Swadesh (1955) 100 fat (grease) GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    Alpher and Nash (1999) 151 fat, grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    Hale (1961) 100 fat, grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    OGrady and Klokeid (1969) 100 fat, grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    Blust (2008) 210 fat/grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    Matisoff (1978) 200 fat/grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    Samarin (1969) 218 fat/grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    Dunn et al. (2012) 207 fat GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    Swadesh (1950) 215 fat GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    Zgraggen (1980) 380 fat GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    Jachontov (1991) 100 fat n. GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    Wiktionary (2003) 207 fat (noun) GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    Starostin (1991) 110 fat n.; жир GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    TeilDautrey et al. (2008) 430 fat, oil GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    Swadesh (1952) 200 fat (organic substance) GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    Shiro (1973) 200 grease (fat) GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    Samarin (1969) 100 grease; graisse; Fett; grasa GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    Wang (2006) 200 pig oil; 猪油 GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    Haspelmath and Tadmor (2009) 1460 the grease or fat GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID: 3232)
    Concept labels for “GREASE” in 22 different concept lists (see List et al. 2015,
    online at http://concepticon.clld.org)
    12 / 20

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  33. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Standards
    Standards: Concept Labeling
    Concept labels for “GREASE” in 22 different concept lists (see List et al. 2015,
    online at http://concepticon.clld.org)
    Concept List # Items Concept Label Concept ID
    Allen (2007) 500 animal oil; 动物油(脂肪) GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Gregersen (1976) 217 fat-grease*fat-grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Heggarty (2005) 150 fat (grease); grasa GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Swadesh (1955) 100 fat (grease) GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Alpher and Nash (1999) 151 fat, grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Hale (1961) 100 fat, grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    OGrady and Klokeid (1969) 100 fat, grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Blust (2008) 210 fat/grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Matisoff (1978) 200 fat/grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Samarin (1969) 218 fat/grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Dunn et al. (2012) 207 fat GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Swadesh (1950) 215 fat GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Zgraggen (1980) 380 fat GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Jachontov (1991) 100 fat n. GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Wiktionary (2003) 207 fat (noun) GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Starostin (1991) 110 fat n.; жир GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    TeilDautrey et al. (2008) 430 fat, oil GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Swadesh (1952) 200 fat (organic substance) GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Shiro (1973) 200 grease (fat) GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Samarin (1969) 100 grease; graisse; Fett; grasa GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Wang (2006) 200 pig oil; 猪油 GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Haspelmath and Tadmor (2009) 1460 the grease or fat GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    12 / 20

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  34. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Standards
    Standards: Concept Labeling
    Concept labels for “GREASE” in 22 different concept lists (see List et al. 2015,
    online at http://concepticon.clld.org)
    Concept List # Items Concept Label Concept ID
    Allen (2007) 500 animal oil; 动物油(脂肪) GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Gregersen (1976) 217 fat-grease*fat-grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Heggarty (2005) 150 fat (grease); grasa GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Swadesh (1955) 100 fat (grease) GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Alpher and Nash (1999) 151 fat, grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Hale (1961) 100 fat, grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    OGrady and Klokeid (1969) 100 fat, grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Blust (2008) 210 fat/grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Matisoff (1978) 200 fat/grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Samarin (1969) 218 fat/grease GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Dunn et al. (2012) 207 fat GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Swadesh (1950) 215 fat GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Zgraggen (1980) 380 fat GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Jachontov (1991) 100 fat n. GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Wiktionary (2003) 207 fat (noun) GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Starostin (1991) 110 fat n.; жир GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    TeilDautrey et al. (2008) 430 fat, oil GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Swadesh (1952) 200 fat (organic substance) GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Shiro (1973) 200 grease (fat) GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Samarin (1969) 100 grease; graisse; Fett; grasa GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Wang (2006) 200 pig oil; 猪油 GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    Haspelmath and Tadmor (2009) 1460 the grease or fat GREASE (CONCEPTICON-ID:323)
    12 / 20

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  35. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Standards
    Standards: Lexical Representation
    13 / 20

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  36. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Standards
    Standards: Lexical Representation
    Dialect Entry IPA Segments Morphemes
    Beijing 大油 ta⁵¹ iou³⁵ t a ⁵¹ i o u ³⁵ t a ⁵¹ + i o u ³⁵
    Changsha 油 tɕy³³ iəu¹³ tɕ y ³³ i ə u ¹³ tɕ y ³³ + i ə u ¹³
    Chengdu 猪油 tsu⁴⁴iəu³¹ ts u ⁴⁴ i ə u ³¹ ts u ⁴⁴ + i ə u ³¹
    Fuzhou 猪油 ty⁴⁴iu⁵² t y ⁴⁴ i u ⁵² t y ⁴⁴ + i u ⁵²
    Guangzhou 猪膏 tʃy⁵⁵kou⁵³ tʃ y ⁵⁵ k ou ⁵³ tʃ y ⁵⁵ + k ou ⁵³
    Meixian 油 jiu¹² j i u ¹² j i u ¹ ²
    Nanchang 油 iu⁵⁵ i u ⁵⁵ i u ⁵⁵
    Taibei ti44 iu13豬油 ti⁴⁴ iu¹³ t i ⁴⁴ i u ¹³ t i ⁴⁴ + i u ¹³
    Wenzhou 猪油 tsei⁴⁴ ɦiau³¹ ts e i ⁴⁴ ɦ i a u ³¹ ts e i +⁴⁴ ɦ i a u ³¹
    Xiamen 油 iu²⁴ i u ²⁴ i u ²⁴
    Lexical entries for “GREASE” (“pork fat”) in 10 Chinese dialect varieties
    (data taken from Wang and Hamed 2006)
    13 / 20

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  37. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Standards
    Standards: Lexical Representation
    Lexical entries for “GREASE” (“pork fat”) in 10 Chinese dialect varieties
    (data taken from Wang and Hamed 2006)
    Dialect Entry IPA Segments Morphemes
    Beijing 大油 ta⁵¹ iou³⁵ t a ⁵¹ i o u ³⁵ t a ⁵¹ + i o u ³⁵
    Changsha 油 tɕy³³ iəu¹³ tɕ y ³³ i ə u ¹³ tɕ y ³³ + i ə u ¹³
    Chengdu 猪油 tsu⁴⁴iəu³¹ ts u ⁴⁴ i ə u ³¹ ts u ⁴⁴ + i ə u ³¹
    Fuzhou 猪油 ty⁴⁴iu⁵² t y ⁴⁴ i u ⁵² t y ⁴⁴ + i u ⁵²
    Guangzhou 猪膏 tʃy⁵⁵kou⁵³ tʃ y ⁵⁵ k ou ⁵³ tʃ y ⁵⁵ + k ou ⁵³
    Meixian 油 jiu¹² j i u ¹² j i u ¹ ²
    Nanchang 油 iu⁵⁵ i u ⁵⁵ i u ⁵⁵
    Taibei ti44 iu13豬油 ti⁴⁴ iu¹³ t i ⁴⁴ i u ¹³ t i ⁴⁴ + i u ¹³
    Wenzhou 猪油 tsei⁴⁴ ɦiau³¹ ts e i ⁴⁴ ɦ i a u ³¹ ts e i ⁴⁴ + ɦ i a u ³¹
    Xiamen 油 iu²⁴ i u ²⁴ i u ²⁴
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  38. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Standards
    Standards: Lexical Representation
    Lexical entries for “GREASE” (“pork fat”) in 10 Chinese dialect varieties
    (data taken from Wang and Hamed 2006)
    Dialect Entry IPA Segments Morphemes
    Beijing 大油 ta⁵¹ iou³⁵ t a ⁵¹ i o u ³⁵ t a ⁵¹ + i o u ³⁵
    Changsha 油 tɕy³³ iəu¹³ tɕ y ³³ i ə u ¹³ tɕ y ³³ + i ə u ¹³
    Chengdu 猪油 tsu⁴⁴iəu³¹ ts u ⁴⁴ i ə u ³¹ ts u ⁴⁴ + i ə u ³¹
    Fuzhou 猪油 ty⁴⁴iu⁵² t y ⁴⁴ i u ⁵² t y ⁴⁴ + i u ⁵²
    Guangzhou 猪膏 tʃy⁵⁵kou⁵³ tʃ y ⁵⁵ k ou ⁵³ tʃ y ⁵⁵ + k ou ⁵³
    Meixian 油 jiu¹² j i u ¹² j i u ¹ ²
    Nanchang 油 iu⁵⁵ i u ⁵⁵ i u ⁵⁵
    Taibei ti44 iu13豬油 ti⁴⁴ iu¹³ t i ⁴⁴ i u ¹³ t i ⁴⁴ + i u ¹³
    Wenzhou 猪油 tsei⁴⁴ ɦiau³¹ ts e i ⁴⁴ ɦ i a u ³¹ ts e i +⁴⁴ ɦ i a u ³¹
    Xiamen 油 iu²⁴ i u ²⁴ i u ²⁴
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  39. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Standards
    Standards: Lexical Representation
    Lexical entries for “GREASE” (“pork fat”) in 10 Chinese dialect varieties
    (data taken from Wang and Hamed 2006)
    Dialect Entry IPA Segments Morphemes
    Beijing 大油 ta⁵¹ iou³⁵ t a ⁵¹ i o u ³⁵ t a ⁵¹ + i o u ³⁵
    Changsha 油 tɕy³³ iəu¹³ tɕ y ³³ i ə u ¹³ tɕ y ³³ + i ə u ¹³
    Chengdu 猪油 tsu⁴⁴iəu³¹ ts u ⁴⁴ i ə u ³¹ ts u ⁴⁴ + i ə u ³¹
    Fuzhou 猪油 ty⁴⁴iu⁵² t y ⁴⁴ i u ⁵² t y ⁴⁴ + i u ⁵²
    Guangzhou 猪膏 tʃy⁵⁵kou⁵³ tʃ y ⁵⁵ k ou ⁵³ tʃ y ⁵⁵ + k ou ⁵³
    Meixian 油 jiu¹² j i u ¹² j i u ¹ ²
    Nanchang 油 iu⁵⁵ i u ⁵⁵ i u ⁵⁵
    Taibei ti44 iu13豬油 ti⁴⁴ iu¹³ t i ⁴⁴ i u ¹³ t i ⁴⁴ + i u ¹³
    Wenzhou 猪油 tsei⁴⁴ ɦiau³¹ ts e i ⁴⁴ ɦ i a u ³¹ ts e i ⁴⁴ + ɦ i a u ³¹
    Xiamen 油 iu²⁴ i u ²⁴ i u ²⁴
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  40. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Standards
    Standards: Representation of Cognate Judgments
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  41. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Standards
    Standards: Representation of Cognate Judgments
    Language Lexical Entry Cognacy Alignment
    Central Amis simar 2 s i m a r
    Thao lhimash 2 lh i m a sh
    Hanunóo tabáʔ 23 t a b á ʔ
    Nias tawõ 23 t a w õ -
    Mailu mona 1 m o n a -
    Maloh -iñak 1 - i ñ a k
    Tetum mina 1 m i n a -
    Banggi laːna 24 l aː n a -
    Berawan (Long Terawan) ləməʔ 24 l ə m ə ʔ
    Iban lemak 24 l e m a k
    Cognate judgments for “grease/fat” across 10 Austronesian languages
    (data taken from Greenhill et. al 2008, online at
    http://language.psy.auckland.ac.nz/austronesian/)
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  42. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Standards
    Standards: Representation of Cognate Judgments
    Cognate judgments for “grease/fat” across 10 Austronesian languages
    (data taken from Greenhill et. al 2008, online at
    http://language.psy.auckland.ac.nz/austronesian/)
    Language Lexical Entry Cognacy Alignment
    Central Amis simar 2 s i m a r
    Thao lhimash 2 lh i m a sh
    Hanunóo tabáʔ 23 t a b á ʔ
    Nias tawõ 23 t a w õ -
    Mailu mona 1 m o n a -
    Maloh -iñak 1 - i ñ a k
    Tetum mina 1 m i n a -
    Banggi laːna 24 l aː n a -
    Berawan (Long Terawan) ləməʔ 24 l ə m ə ʔ
    Iban lemak 24 l e m a k
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  43. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Standards
    Jena Wordlist Standard
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  44. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Standards
    Jena Wordlist Standard
    JENA
    WORDLIST
    STANDARD
    The Jena Wordlist Standard is being developed by the NESCent style working group
    “GlottoBank: Towards a Global Language Phylogeny” under the direction of Russel Gray
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  45. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Standards
    Jena Wordlist Standard
    The Jena Wordlist Standard is being developed by the NESCent style working group
    “GlottoBank: Towards a Global Language Phylogeny” under the direction of Russel Gray
    JENA
    WORDLIST
    STANDARD
    DEFINE STANDARDS FOR
    - Wordlists
    - Cognate Sets
    - Alignments
    PROVIDE TOOLS FOR
    - Data Validation
    - Data Exchange
    - Data Enrichment
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  46. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Standards
    Jena Wordlist Standard
    The Jena Wordlist Standard is being developed by the NESCent style working group
    “GlottoBank: Towards a Global Language Phylogeny” under the direction of Russel Gray
    JENA
    WORDLIST
    STANDARD
    arbitrarité
    Glottolog
    http://glottolog.clld.org
    Phoible
    http://phoible.clld.org
    CONCEPTICON
    http://concepticon.clld.org
    [ˈfɔi.bł]
    INTEGRATE EXISTING STANDARDS
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  47. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Standards
    Jena Wordlist Standard
    The Jena Wordlist Standard is being developed by the NESCent style working group
    “GlottoBank: Towards a Global Language Phylogeny” under the direction of Russel Gray
    PROVIDE TOOLS FOR
    EDITING AND ANALYSIS
    LingPy
    http://lingpy.org
    TSV EDICTOR
    http://tsv.lingpy.org
    JENA
    WORDLIST
    STANDARD
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  48. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Standards
    Jena Wordlist Standard
    The Jena Wordlist Standard is being developed by the NESCent style working group
    “GlottoBank: Towards a Global Language Phylogeny” under the direction of Russel Gray
    JENA
    WORDLIST
    STANDARD
    LexiBank
    - Cross-Linguistic Database
    of Lexical Cognate Sets
    PhonoBank
    - Cross-Linguistic Database
    of Regular Sound Change
    Patterns
    USE THE STANDARD TO BUILD
    NEW DATABASES
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  49. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Workflows
    Workflows
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  50. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Workflows
    Workflows
    P(A|B)=(P(B|A)P(A))/(P(B)
    FRANZ BOPP
    VERY,
    VERY
    LONG
    TITLE
    Semantic
    Tagging
    Segmentation
    Cognate
    Detection
    Alignment
    Analysis
    Linguistic
    Reconstruction
    Phylogenetic
    Reconstruction
    HAND [hænd]
    FOOT [fʊt]
    EARTH [ɜːrθ]
    TREE [triː]
    BARK [bɑːrk]
    RAW
    DATA
    HAND [hænd]
    FOOT [fʊt]
    EARTH [ɜːrθ]
    TREE [triː]
    BARK [bɑːrk]
    WORDLIST
    DATA
    HAND [hænd]
    FOOT [fʊt]
    EARTH [ɜːrθ]
    TREE [triː]
    BARK [bɑːrk]
    TOKENS,
    MORPHEMES
    HAND [hænd]
    FOOT [fʊt]
    EARTH [ɜːrθ]
    TREE [triː]
    BARK [bɑːrk]
    COGNATE
    SETS
    HAND [hænd]
    FOOT [fʊt]
    EARTH [ɜːrθ]
    TREE [triː]
    BARK [bɑːrk]
    SOUND
    CORRESPON-
    DENCES
    HAND [hænd]
    FOOT [fʊt]
    EARTH [ɜːrθ]
    TREE [triː]
    BARK [bɑːrk]
    PROTO-
    FORMS
    HAND [hænd]
    FOOT [fʊt]
    EARTH [ɜːrθ]
    TREE [triː]
    BARK [bɑːrk]
    PHYLO-
    GENIES
    PROVIDES
    AUTOMATIC
    ANALYSES
    REVISES
    AUTOMATIC
    ANALYSES
    A possible computer-assisted, iterative workflow with automatic and manual components.
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  51. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Workflows
    Workflows: Tools
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  52. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Workflows
    Workflows: Tools
    LingPy
    http://lingpy.org
    TSV EDICTOR
    http://tsv.lingpy.org
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  53. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Workflows
    Workflows: Tools
    LingPy and EDICTOR: Two tools for computer-assisted language comparison.
    TSV EDICTOR
    http://tsv.lingpy.org
    Software Library for Automatic
    Tasks in Historical Linguistics
    - phonetic segmentation
    - phonetic alignment
    - cognate detection
    - ancestral state reconstruction
    - borrowing detection
    - phylogenetic reconstruction
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  54. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Workflows
    Workflows: Tools
    LingPy and EDICTOR: Two tools for computer-assisted language comparison.
    TSV
    LingPy
    http://lingpy.org
    Online Tool for Computer-
    Assisted Language Comparison
    - server- and client-based
    - data validation
    - phonetic segmentation
    - cognate set editor
    - alignment editor
    - correspondence evaluation
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  55. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Workflows
    Workflows: Test Cases
    Reconstruction of Tukano Languages (with T. Chacon)
    15 Tukano languages
    140 concepts
    cognate sets are aligned with proposed reconstructions
    Reconstruction of Burmish Languages (with N. Hill)
    8 Burmish languages
    about 500 concepts
    cognate sets were determined automatically and are currently being reviewd by the expert
    Lexical Homology Database of Sino-Tibetan Languages (with L. Sagart and G. Jacques)
    more than 50 Sino-Tibetan languages
    about 240 concepts
    data is currently being assembled
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  56. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Challenges
    Challenges
    P(A|B)=(P(B|A)P(A))/(P(B)
    FRANZ BO
    PP
    VERY,
    VERY
    LO
    NG
    TI TLE
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  57. Towards a Computer-Assisted Comparative Method Challenges
    Challenges
    P(A|B)=(P(B|A)P(A))/(P(B)
    FRANZ BO
    PP
    VERY,
    VERY
    LO
    NG
    TI TLE
    Modeling of Morphological Change
    morphological change is not systematic (as opposed to sound change)
    morphological differences in cognate sets distort the alignments
    Modeling of Semantic Change
    semantic shift is not systematic but has general tendencies
    we need to incorporate known tendencies in our analyses
    Modeling of Irregular Sound Change
    irregular or sporadic sound change is problematic for reconstruction
    we need to find ways to incorporate our uncertainty in our alignments
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  58. Concluding Remarks
    Many hypotheses have been proposed regarding
    the deeper phylogeny of the Austronesian and
    many other language families. Unfortunately, the
    current practice of data presentation makes it dif-
    ficult to compare and test these hypotheses. If we
    want to gain new insights into the past of our lan-
    guages, we need to find ways to integrate both
    the knowledge which experts have been accu-
    mulating over centuries and the new computa-
    tional tools which help to organize, analyze and
    integrate this knowledge.
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  59. Thanks for Your Attention!
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