This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."
Empirical Approaches to Language Typology [EALT] 41
This book promotes the development of linguistic databases by describing a number of successful database projects, focusing especially on cross-linguistic and typological research. It has become increasingly clear that ready access to knowledge about cross-linguistic variation is of great value to many types of linguistic research. Such a systematic body of data is essential in order to gain a proper understanding of what is truly universal in language and what is determined by specific cultural settings. Moreover, it is increasingly needed as a tool to systematically evaluate contrasting theoretical claims. The book includes a chapter on general problems of using databases to handle language data and chapters on a number of individual projects.