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Statistical Acoustic-Phonetic Historical Linguistics: A short introduction

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For the last several years we have been working together, developing methods for modelling linguistic sound changes using acoustic representations computed from sound recordings rather than text. In this way, we aim to reconstruct the methods of comparative philology on quantitative, acoustic foundations. In this talk, we consider such questions as: What would comparative and historical phonology be like if we worked with sound recordings instead of symbols? Can quantitative methods give insights into language variation and change? Could even we “bring back to life” the sounds of languages from the past?

We hope that this highly interdisciplinary talk will interest Romance philologists and linguists, classical philologists, statisticians, computational linguists, phoneticians and pretty much anyone with an interest in language history, modelling etc.

Ancient Sounds project

This talk is part of the Cambridge Language Sciences Annual Symposium series.

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