Linguists have developed an algorithm that animates ancient languages


12/02/2013

Linguists from Canada and America have created a special computer algorithm that can reconstruct the ancient proto-language, used by the ancestors of modern language groups and families. This will help restore the long history of Earth civilizations.

"We believe that our algorithm will be a revolutionary breakthrough in historical linguistics, as well as the transformation of evolutionary biology, statistical analysis and processing power of computers. Certainly, our system will find all the nuances that can not only by professional linguists, but it will help them in the reconstruction of their "ancestors" to use more languages - Alexander Bouchard-Cote (Alexandre Boucard-Cote), a specialist from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver (Canada).

The group of linguists led by Bouchard-Cote taught computer in the ancient languages "breathe life" by developing a special statistical model that can be in each other kindred languages kinship between words.

The algorithm looks for similar connection with the analysis of speech sounds at the level of simple elements that make up spoken words. Combining data from several tens of thousands of words is based on statistical algorithms, reducing step-by-step appearance of the ancient language, of which there have been analyzed and adverbs.

To demonstrate the performance of his invention Bouchard-Cote and colleagues reconstructed the language that gave rise to the 637 Austronesian languages in which people today say the Philippines, the islands of Oceania, Madagascar and some of Southeast Asia. The detailed findings of scientists, as well as details of the device of their algorithm were published in an article in the current issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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