198401 发表于 2013-5-7 08:53

[PNAS] Ultraconserved words point to deep language ancestry across Eurasia

本帖最后由 Ryan 于 2018-10-13 17:43 编辑

PNAS published ahead of print May 6, 2013

Ultraconserved words point to deep language ancestry across Eurasia
Mark Pagel etc.

Abstract
The search for ever deeper relationships among the World’s languages is bedeviled by the fact that most words evolve too rapidly to preserve evidence of their ancestry beyond 5,000 to 9,000 y. On the other hand, quantitative modeling indicates that some “ultraconserved” words exist that might be used to find evidence for deep linguistic relationships beyond that time barrier. Here we use a statistical model, which takes into account the frequency with which words are used in common everyday speech, to predict the existence of a set of such highly conserved words among seven language families of Eurasia postulated to form a linguistic superfamily that evolved from a common ancestor around 15,000 y ago. We derive a dated phylogenetic tree of this proposed superfamily with a time-depth of ~14,450 y, implying that some frequently used words have been retained in related forms since the end of the last ice age. Words used more than once per 1,000 in everyday speech were 7- to 10-times more likely to show deep ancestry on this tree. Our results suggest a remarkable fidelity in the transmission of some words and give theoretical justification to the search for features of language that might be preserved across wide spans of time and geography.

发表:http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/05/01/1218726110.abstract
全文:www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/05/01/1218726110.full.pdf


imvivi001 发表于 2013-5-7 18:36

如果这个超级语系涵盖了dravidian语系,则极有可能涵盖大部分东亚诸语的基本词汇。
期待看到论文全文...

198401 发表于 2013-5-8 08:39

有些单词虽然新颖但生命却很短暂,而许多常用的单词则可能会保留几个世代,几百甚至几千年,我们在不同语言中常常会发现有发音和意义相似的单词。对这些共享单词的研究或许能追溯到一个共同的祖先。根据发表在PNAS上的一项统计研究报告,从阿拉斯加到欧洲的人类可能共同使用一种1.5万年前冰河时代末期的早期语言。
五成的英语和法语单词词源相同,而德语和英语词源相同率则更高达七成,显示这三种语言存在关联,其中德语和英语更亲近。利用系统发生原则,研究员发现许多常见的单词可追溯到九千年前。根据2007年刊登在《自然》上的一篇论文,语言中的大多数单词有五成的几率会每两千到四千年被另一个完全不同的单词替代,但一些常用的词如 I、you、here、how、not和two,被替代的时间跨度则长达一万甚至两万年。在最新研究中,研究人员分析了七大语言家族中的同源词,发现23个常用单词(日常说话使用率千分之一)在不同语言中有相似读音。例如单词 thou在所有七大语言家族都有着相似的读音和意义;单词not, that, we, who和give是五大语言家族的同源词;mother, hand, fire, ashes, worm, hear和pull被四大语言家族共享。研究推测,这些单词保留了1.45万年前语言的形式。

hercules 发表于 2013-5-8 13:32

乌拉尔和阿尔泰不接近?
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