Ariets Research Blog

January 28, 2015

Subgrouping Indo-European: A fresh perspective

Filed under: Indo-Europeans — Ariets @ 10:40 am

Just another interesing study on indo-european languages, and their similarity according to Automated
Similarity Judgement Program. Here’s link.

For several reasons the Indo-European languages present significant challenges to
subgrouping. First, the long research history is an advantage in terms of data and research,
but it also represents a complication resulting from diverging avenues of research and
research traditions. Second, while the long history of attestation is beneficial for historical
research, because of the time depth of available data, the unbalanced distribution of
attestation and the fact that the time depth of attestation is frequently still insufficient pose
particular problems for subgrouping. And third, there are special issues in subgrouping Indo-European which make it doubtful whether the family has clean binary splits above branch-level.  Rather, it seems to be the multilateral affinities among the Indo-European languages and branches which point to a different genesis.  As a result, there appears to be a bit of a
deadlock in this area, which may well be broken by new approaches, such as the Automated
Similarity Judgement Program (…)

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