Blog Archives

A note on the Mitian Argument

An article to have caught my attention tonight: Mikael Parkvall (2008), Which parts of language are the most stable?, Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung 61/3. The main momentum of the paper is to define a statistical measure of the “arealness” or “geneticness”

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Posted in Commentary

A slice of Finno-Ugric research interests across time

A tabulation project I’ve assembled a while ago: a topical index of the Finno-Ugrian Society’s by now approaching-300-long monograph series Suomalais-Ugrilaisen Seuran Toimituksia / Mémoires de la Société Finno-Ougrienne. Aside from being handy for looking up what has been done

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Posted in Uncategorized

Similar Place Avoidance in language history

An interesting paper I’ve found a couple days ago: Pozdniakov, Konstantin & Segerer, Guillaume (2007). Similar Place Avoidance: A Statistical Universal. In: Linguistic Typology 11:2. The main thesis is relatively simple: most languages of the world disfavor word roots where

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Posted in Commentary, Uncategorized

Consonant clusters in Khanty

My previous example of phonotactic combination analysis was on data that was, despite a few kinks, still largely homogenous. But to showcase how it’s important to have a decent basic hypothesis before going into more fine-grained analysis, here’s a look

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Posted in Methodology

Phonotactics vs. protolanguages

Phonotactic analysis is probably one of the most straightforward tools for statistical etymology. There are others too — but this is an analysis method that will easily bring up a wealth of data that has no real synchronic motivation (arbitraryness

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Posted in Methodology

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