Chapter 4 – New quantitative mthds to study the evltn of lang

Wikis > Chapter 4 - New quantitative mthds to study the evltn of lang

2015: Nur Eliqah Binte Mohd Ali, Nur Syazwani Binte Jantan
2014: Toh Xiao Xuan, Kenneth Su Weihao, A K Vellie Nila

Hello everyone!
Language evolution has traditionally been studied using methods such as the examination of fossil remains, comparisons between animal communication systems and studies of patients with language impairments (Gong, 2009). These methods of study have led to an increase in the understanding of the nature of language. For example, studies of the fossils of hominids have allowed researchers to date the emergence of anatomically modern humans to about 160,000 years ago (White, Asfaw, Degusta, Gilbert, Richards, Suwa & Howell, 2003). With technological improvements, researchers have now come up with several new quantitative methods which are complementary to the traditional methods of study and have the potential to further advance the current knowledge of language evolution. New methods also make use of expertise and knowledge from other fields of study such as computer science and biology, demonstrating that learning about the evolution of language does not necessarily have to be restricted to the field of linguistics. Three of these new methods, namely, computational simulation, Geo-linguistic and phylogenetic methods will be introduced in these pages.

Feel free to click on the links to understand these new quantitative methods to study language evolution!