Tuesday, November 05, 2013

APiCS online, ASJP

Any readers interested in pidgins, creoles, or mixed languages (one of those things is not like the others!) will want to know that the data for the Atlas of Pidgin and Creole Languages, APiCS, is finally online and publicly browsable. Think of it as WALS for pidgins and creoles, basically – lots of pretty maps, with the nice bonus that language-internal variation in features like word order can be represented proportionally by a pie graph instead of having to choose a single value per language.

Also released lately is the data underlying the ASJP (Automated Similarity Judgement Program). The program's results itself remain thoroughly unreliable as a guide to classification – as of the latest version, it auto-classifies Songhay with Masa (Chadic), Berber with East Chadic, Kanuri with various Biu-Mandara (Chadic) languages (and not with Teda-Daza), Turkic with some New Guinea language named Kuot, and Hebrew with Tigre and Tigrinya against the rest of Semitic. For low-level subgroupings they aren't always too bad, though – their Berber tree has become surprisingly plausible. In any event, having the data, you can analyse it yourself, or try running your own algorithms if you feel up to it...

3 comments:

John Cowan said...

As any fule of a biologist kno, similarity has little to do with relatedness: the first rule of Fish Club is that whales are not fish. My 5-year-old grandson's skin is so much darker than mine that when we are on the street together, people who resemble him often look about for the adult responsible for him, and are surprised when they discover it's me. (For some reason, people who resemble me don't seem to notice.)

Wm said...

Kuot has magnificent verbal morphology — Kuot Grammar Essentials.

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