Tid: Torsdag 19 mars 2015, kl. 15:00-17:00
Plats: C307, Södra huset, Frescati

Postseminarium följer direkt efter seminariet i institutionens pentry.

Abstract

REVILED From the end of the 1950s the predominent quantitative tool in the historical linguistic toolbox was the lexicostatistical method. But while the method had pragmatic appeal, it fell into direpute by the 1970s as it became clear that the fundamental problems of the method could not be overcome. The manifest failure of glottochronology to produce realistic results only dragged it further down.

TOLERATED From 2000 a new set of quantitative methods began be be seen in linguistics. The tools for studying biological evolution were in a period of rapid development as methodologists rushed to exploit new possibilites brought about by advances in gene sequencing and desktop computing. The initial reception of these methods was cool, but warmed as linguists became accustomed to the new methods and began to appreciate some of the new possiblities for understanding language history that were being opened up.

EMBRACED As the number of linguists conversant in quantitative methods increases, quantitative methods are finding a home in historical linguistics. A synthesis of traditional and computational methods allows historical linguists to investigate dates, the dynamics of language change, and the interaction between language and (geographic and social) environment. As a result of this, the role of historical linguistics will grow in importance in all areas of the study of linguistic diversity.

Länk till Michael Dunns hemsida vid Uppsala universitet

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Ljuba Veselinova