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Darwin-L Message Log 2:110 (October 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.


<2:110>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Wed Oct 20 23:42:54 1993

Date: Thu, 21 Oct 1993 00:49:02 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Software for comparative linguistics (fwd from LINGUIST)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

New software for comparative linguistics available, forwarded
from LINGUIST.  Perhaps of interest to some members of Darwin-L.

Bob O'Hara
darwin@iris.uncg.edu

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LINGUIST List:  Vol-4-863. Tue 19 Oct 1993. ISSN: 1068-4875.

Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1993 13:04:59 +1000 (EST)
From: j.guy@trl.oz.au (Jacques Guy)
Subject: Software for PCs

I have uploaded today 19 October at garbo.uwasa.fi into their
directory pc/incoming a software package for classifying and
reconstructing language families from lexicostatistical data
and for simulating lexical evolution and borrowing.
(It will be moved to their linguistics subdirectory in time).

For those of you who have tried lexicostatistics before and
found it wanting, I must emphasize now that the tree reconstruction
method implemented in this package has nothing in common with
glottochronology or lexicostatistics as you remember it. On
the very contrary, it expects vocabulary retention to vary
wildly from language to language and from time to time.

It consists of 5 program files, 3 sample data files, and a documentation
file, zipped into GLOTTO01.ZIP (76780 bytes), being:

 Name    Size     Contents
GLOTMRG.EXE 11088  Program. Merges separate sample wordlists
         into one, in a format that makes cognate
         identification easier.
GLOTPC.EXE   9392  Program. Input is a file containing identified
         cognate groups; output is a file containing
         a table of percentages of shared cognates.
GLOTTREE.EXE  23200  Program. Input is a file containing a table
         of percentages of shared cognates; output is
         files containing reconstructed tree and table
         of theoretical cognate percentages. The proportion
         of vocabulary retained since the preious split
         is shown on every branch of the reconstructed
         tree. The table of theoretical percentages
         gives a means of estimating the reliability
         of the reconstruction.
GLOTED.EXE  24976  An editor for browsing, modifying, and formatting
         tables of percentages of shared cognates for
         printing.
GLOTSIM.EXE 29904  Program. Input is a file containing the
         description of the evolution and diversification
         of a language family or families; output is files
         containing the log of splits, innovations,
         borrowings, and percentages of shared cognates.
GLOTTO.DOC  51800  Instructions for use.
VANUATU.PC  239  Percentages of cognates shared by eight languages
         of Vanuatu, formerly New Hebrides.
VANUATU.SIM   425  Description of the evolution and diversification
         of a language family. Running GLOTSIM with
         VANUATU.SIM as input generates a language family
         with lexicostatistical properties mimicking
         those of the real languages in VANUATU.PC.
UTOAZTEC.PC  2487  Percentages of cognates shared by 32 Uto-Aztecan
         languages (from W.R. Miller 1984)

This package is freeware.

There are three main uses to which you can put it.

1. Classifying languages from sample wordlists.

2. Classifying languages from existing tables of cognate percentages.

3. Testing the validity and accuracy of any classification method
 relying on proportions of shared cognates, including the method
 implemented in program GLOTTREE.

Jacques Guy, Telecom Research Laboratories, 770 Blackburn Road,
     Clayton 3168, Australia
e-mail: j.guy@trl.oz.au

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