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New methods for estimating language evolution

Tuesday 4th December 2007 - 14:00 to 15:00
INI Seminar Room 1

Languages evolve through genetic descent, but also through borrowing, and distinguishing between the two can be difficult due to a number of factors. This talk will describe the approach that our group is doing to estimate evolutionary histories in the presence of borrowing, and present our analysis of Indo-European. I will also present a simulation study of langauge evolution, showing how methods for reconstructing trees perform in the presence of borrowing.

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University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons