Experimental results: Age of common ancestor of two languages

Age of common ancestors
Posted by: Vincent Dec. 20, 2016, 21:04

I am working on converting the genetic distance value to a timeline period when the two languages of a pairwise comparison had their next common ancestor.
The experimental results here at not perfect yet and some queries clearly deliver inappropriate values. But at least two third of the results are consistent.
Please remain aware that following facts strongly relativize the results:
  • Languaged don't always split at a clear date - it is often a long process when a group of dialect drifts away from another one.
  • For ancient languages, a fix date is taken as basis to count back the period of common ancestry. In fact, the state of the language reflected by the words spread over several centuries.
  • The rate of evolution is assumed constant by the system but it is not constant in reality.
  • The basis of the comparison consists of only 18 words, sometimes even less if not all words are available for some languages - especially extinct ones. Especialy when pairwise comparisons show only slight differences, few of them have a huge impact on the results when you compare them inside a sub-family.
  • The common ancestry is defined by a time range rather than a date to address these issues!
--> Link to the experimental query with common ancestor age!!!
Wheras some of the individual results are doubtless wrong, the data represented by all results seems to be of great value when analysed with statistical methods. I will come back with more analyses in the next weeks. In the meantime, enjoy trying the "age query" and don't hesitate to give any feedback!
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