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      Borrowing, Character Weighting, and Preliminary Cluster Analysis in a Phylogenetic Analysis of the Ancient Greek Dialects

      Indo-European Linguistics

      Brill

      phylogenetics, ancient Greek, Greek dialects

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          Abstract

          Phylogenetic systematics is an increasingly popular tool in historical linguistics for reconstructing the evolutionary histories of groups of languages. One problem in applying phylogenetic methods to languages is that phylogenetic methods assume evolution takes place strictly by descent with modification, whereas borrowing between languages is common. This paper tests two different methods for addressing borrowing in phylogenetic analysis of language on a dataset representing the dialects of ancient Greek: character weighting and preliminary cluster analysis. Both methods show promise; they correctly recovered the subgrouping of the Greek dialects and were able to improve the resolution of the tree compared to the preliminary analysis. However, they recovered conflicting subgroupings of the West Greek dialects. This result is most likely due to a circular dialect continuum within West Greek. Using phylogenetic methods in situations which match their assumptions is crucial; for the West Greek dialects, phylogenetic network methods would be more appropriate.

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          Most cited references 3

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          A comparison of phylogenetic reconstruction methods on an Indo-European dataset

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            Tutorial on Computational Linguistic Phylogeny

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              Overview on Cluster Analysis

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                22125892
                Indo-European Linguistics
                IEUL
                Brill (The Netherlands )
                2212-5884
                2212-5892
                2015
                : 3
                : 1
                : 84-117
                Affiliations
                Harvard Society of Fellows, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA cskelton@ 123456fas.harvard.edu
                10.1163/22125892-00301003
                Copyright 2015 by Christina Michelle Skelton

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0) License.

                Social & Behavioral Sciences, Law

                Greek dialects, ancient Greek, phylogenetics

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