From Species To Languages. A phylogenetic approach to human by Q.D. Atkinson

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Accurate comparisons between words must allow for insertions, deletions and metathesis (reversals) and incorporate complex models of phonological change. These comparisons are fundamentally similar to reconstructions of character change on a phylogeny. Hence, when historical linguists make cognacy judgements using the comparative method they quite rightly consider prior knowledge of the relationships between these languages. Unfortunately, since there is no explicit optimality criterion used to make the cognacy judgements, it is difficult to evaluate the evidence supporting a relationship objectively.

A special volume of the Journal of Indoeuropean Studies. , T. Warnow, and A. Taylor. 2002. Indo-European and computational cladistics. Trans. Phil. Soc. 100:59–129. Robins, R. 1997. A short history of linguistics. Longmans, London. Ruhlen, M. 1994. The origin of language: Tracing the origin of the mother tongue. John Wiley and Sons, New York. Sanderson, M. 2002a. Estimating absolute rates of evolution and divergence times: A penalized likelihood approach. Molecular Biology and Evolution 19:101–109.

Dobzhansky, T. 1937. Genetics and the origin of species. Columbia University Press, New York. Dobzhansky, T. 1941. ). Columbia University Press, New York. , J. B. Kruskal, and P. Black. 1992. An Indoeuropean classification: A lexicostatistical experiment. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 82(5):1-132. American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia. Embleton, S. 1986. Statistics in historical linguistics. Brockmeyer, Bochum. Emerson, R. 1906. Essays, 1st and 2nd series. Dent, London.

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