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LINGUIST List 18.532

Sun Feb 18 2007

Qs: Trends in Consonant Development

Editor for this issue: Jeremy Taylor <jeremylinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Mahe BEN HAMED, Trends in Consonant Development

Message 1: Trends in Consonant Development
Date: 16-Feb-2007
From: Mahe BEN HAMED <mahe.ben-hamedish-lyon.cnrs.fr>
Subject: Trends in Consonant Development

Dear Colleagues,
As part of a project investigating novel computational methodologies in
historical linguistics, I have developed with Ian Maddieson (UC Berkley)
and Gerard Philippson (DDL-France) a questionnaire about the development of
consonant in the languages of the world. It is destined to any scholar with
an expertise in historical phonology, to share his/her views about which
trends of consonant development are the most frequent in the languages of
the world. Different experiences on different language groups are likely to
give only a partial view of these trends, and bringing them together could
help sketch a more global one, and eventually derive universal tendencies.
Such data is much needed for a realistic modelling of these phenomena,
especially those used in the data-based computational methods attempting to
derive parameters about language evolution.

C-TREND is a short questionnaire, which should take only a reasonable
amount of your time. It is a first inventory of 18 likely trends of
consonant development, and contributors are asked to specify those which,
in their view, are the most frequent in the language groups they have
studied, as well as to be more specific about the context and modalities in
which they have observed them.

C-TREND is accessible at http://www.diadm.ish-lyon.cnrs.fr/. To contribute,
you will need to register first. This allows us to keep track of
contributions, and allows you, as a contributor to access the questionnaire
at your own pace, in several times if needed. The login and password you
will choose will also allow you to access the whole set of answers that
will be gathered. Any suggestion you think of to better the questionnaire
is welcome.

As you make your way to C-Trend, we invite you to discover another part of
our project on diachronic data and models, a database on sound change
(UNIDIA) destined to derive sound change universals. UNIDIA is secured as
it is still in construction, but if you wish to know more about it, or to
join our efforts, you can contact me directly at

With best regards,


Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics
                            Genetic Classification
                            Historical Linguistics

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