Accession Number:

AD0605823

Title:

THE LOGIC OF COGNATE RECOGNITION IN HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS,

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1964-09-01

Pagination or Media Count:

8.0

Abstract:

The paper presents a formalization in terms of elementary propositional logic of one of the most crucial steps in the comparative method, namely, that in which modern derivatives of prehistoric phonemes are recognized. The basic assumption on which the theory rests is that the words of a hypothetical prehistoric language should be constructed in such a way as to minimize the total number of phonemes in the language and of the statements that need to be made to account for the forms of the modern words. The theory is sufficiently specific to provide an algorithm for a computer program. However, the amount of computation rises sharply with any increase in the amount of data to be considered, and with present techniques it is prohibitive even for trivially small data sets. Nevertheless, the theory provides a basis on which more efficient heuristic procedures might be built. Author

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Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE