A Workshop on the uses of Phylogenetics in Linguistics
Free and Open to All!
Friday, December 14th 2012
The Whitney Humanities Center
53 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511
For details, contact any of the following:
Claire Bowern firstname.lastname@example.org
Sean Gleason email@example.com
Ryan Kasak firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsored by Yale's Franke Program in Science and the Humanities and NSF grant #844550.
Registration is free; however, please email Sean Gleason with your interest no later than December 11, 2012, so that we make sure we have enough food.
Phylogenetic approaches from biology are increasingly used to investigate cultural traits, including language. A major difference between biological and cultural systems is that cultural traits have greater potential for horizontal transmission among cultural groups. Horizontal transmission may invalidate the use of some phylogenetic methods to study cultural variation, yet phylogenetic methods (and similar approaches) can also be used to detect horizontal transmission. I will discuss phylogenetic comparative methods in general, and their recent applications to studying cultural trait variation. New methods are providing ways to identify horizontal transmission and its implications.
Recent advances in linguistic prehistory using computational phylogenetics
I survey recent work in Australian, Tasmanian, and Indo-European languages which uses computational phylogenetics to make inferences about the past. I review some of the theoretical assumptions regarding evolution which underlie the transfer of tools and methods from computational biology. Discussion will be based around inference of clades (subgrouping), dating, and admixture.
Building the lab for a Genome Project of language: Issues for data design