Phylogenetic Methods and the Prehistory of Languages (McDonald Institute Monographs)

Phylogenetic Methods and the Prehistory of Languages (McDonald Institute Monographs)

By: Peter Forster (author), Colin Renfrew (author)Hardback

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Description

Evolutionary ('phylogenetic') trees were first used to infer lost histories nearly two centuries ago by manuscript scholars reconstructing original texts. Today, computer methods are enabling phylogenetic trees to transform genetics, historical linguistics and even the archaeological study of artefact shapes and styles. But which phylogenetic methods are best suited to retracing the evolution of languages? And which types of language data are most informative about deep prehistory? In this book, leading specialists engage with these key questions. Essential reading for linguists, geneticists and archaeologists, these studies demonstrate how phylogenetic tools are illuminating previously intractable questions about language prehistory. This innovative volume arose from a conference of linguists, geneticists and archaeologists held at Cambridge in 2004.

About Author

Colin Renfrew (Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, born 25th July 1937) was formerly Disney Professor of Archaeology and Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research in the University of Cambridge, and Master of Jesus College Cambridge from 1986 to 1997. He has excavated at a number of sites in prehistoric Greece and in the Orkney Islands, and is the author of many publications, including Prehistory: the making of the human mind. He is Fellow of the British Academy, Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, and was the recipient of the Balzan Prize in 2004.

Contents

Introduction; Part 1: Classification Malagasy Language As A Guide To Understanding Malagasy History (Robert Dewar); The Basis Of Linguistic Phylogenetics (Isidore Diven); Rapid Radiation, Borrowing And Dialect Continua In The Bantu Languages (Clare Holden and Russell D Gray); Multilateral Comparison And Signi.Cance Testing Of The Indo-Uralic Question (Brett Kessler and Annukka Lehtonen); Bantu Classi.Cation, Bantu Trees And Phylogenetic Methods (Lutz Marten); Quasi-Cognates And Lexical Type Shifts: Rigorous Distance Measures For Long Range Comparison (Johanna Nichols); Phylogenetic Analysis Of Written Traditions (Matthew Spencer et al); A Stochastic Model Of Language Evolution That Incorporates Homoplasy And Borrowing (Tandy Warnow et al); Part 2: Chronology How Old Is The Indo-European Language Family? - Illumination Or More Moths To The Flame? (Quentin D Atkinson and Russell D Gray); Radiation And Network Breaking In Polynesian Linguistics (David Bryant); Inference Of Divergence Times As A Statistical Inverse Problem (Steven N Evans, Don Ringe and Tandy Warnow); Evolution Of English Basic Vocabulary Within The Network Of Germanic Languages (Peter Forster, Tobias Polzin and Arne Rhl); Convergence In The Formation Of Indo-European Subgroups: Phylogeny And Chronology (Andrew Garrett); Why Linguists Don't Do Dates: Evidence From Indo-European And Australian Languages (April McMahon and Robert McMahon); Quantifying Uncertainty In A Stochastic Model Of Vocabulary Evolution (G K Nicholls and R D Gray); Estimating Rates Of Lexical Replacement On Phylogenetic Trees Of Languages (Mark Pagel and Andrew Meade); Conclusion: Interdisciplinary Indiscipline? Can Phylogenetic Methods Meaningfully Be Applied To Language Data - And To Dating Language? (Paul Hegagarty); Glossary.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781902937335
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 220
  • ID: 9781902937335
  • ISBN10: 1902937333

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