Tool produced to recreate ancient languages
12 Feb 2013 bruno 0
Academics have produced a tool that can reconstruct proto-languages or those early vernaculars that shaped our language today. In order to test the scheme, the group got 673 currently spoken Asian and Pacific language and then reconstructed the primeval dialects that they were derived. The scientists showed their system by taking a look at a cluster of Austro-nesian dialects that are presently being used in South East Asia.
From a record of 142,000 words the tools recreated the ancient languages, which researchers believe are spoken 7,000 years back. After that, they compared the computer’s discovery with the linguists’ findings and learned that 85% of those ancient words are within a single character or sound.
The devised tool can mix a large number of data rapidly, but with a lesser degree of accuracy compared with the linguists. At present, those language reforms are being supported by linguists, however, the process is tedious and sluggish. It is already published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
An Associate Professor at the University of California, Dan Klein, disclosed that looking at all the data is very time consuming because there are thousands of languages in the world. He added that it will take hundreds of lifetime to examine all those dialects and cross-referencing the numerous modifications that happened through time. He added that because of that, the computers are of paramount importance.
Meanwhile, languages have been altered progressively through time and those little variations in the way that people make sounds mean that ancient languages really transformed into different sorts. Klein explained that those changes are consistent and same words are shifting in similar ways.
Moreover, he said that because of that, patterns are there and humans and computers can find them. Also he explained that the technique is to recognise those changed patterns in order to reverse and make them evolve backwards.
Klein, however, added that the system has inadequacies like it can’t cope with morphological modifications and reduplications. It also can’t describe how things change as it only perceives that they just happened. Despite the ability to reconstruct old languages, the question on whether it is plausible to recreate the prime proto-language remains unanswered.
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