LINGUIST List 25.3504

Fri Sep 05 2014

Diss: Computational Linguistics, Historical Linguistics: List: 'Sequence Comparison in Historical Linguistics'

Editor for this issue: Danuta Allen <>

Date: 04-Sep-2014
From: Johann-Mattis List <>
Subject: Sequence Comparison in Historical Linguistics
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Institution: Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
Program: Department of General Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2013

Author: Johann-Mattis List

Dissertation Title: Sequence Comparison in Historical Linguistics

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics
                            Historical Linguistics

Dissertation Director:
Hans Geisler
Wiebke Petersen

Dissertation Abstract:

The comparison of sound sequences (words, morphemes) constitutes the core of many techniques and methods in historical linguistics. With the help of these techniques, corresponding sounds can be determined, historically related words can be identified, and the history of languages can be uncovered. So far, the application of traditional techniques for sequence comparison is very tedious and time-consuming, since scholars have to apply them manually, without computational support. In this study, algorithms from bioinformatics are used to develop computational methods for sequence comparison in historical linguistics. The new methods automatize several steps of the traditional comparative method and can thus help to ease the painstaking work of language comparison

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