Paper: Comparing Language Similarity across Genetic and Typologically-Based Groupings

ACL ID C10-1044
Title Comparing Language Similarity across Genetic and Typologically-Based Groupings
Venue International Conference on Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 2010
Authors

Recent studies have shown the poten- tial benefits of leveraging resources for resource-rich languages to build tools for similar, but resource-poor languages. We examine what constitutes “similarity” by comparing traditional phylogenetic lan- guage groups, which are motivated largely by genetic relationships, with language groupings formed by clustering methods using typological features only. Using data from the World Atlas of Language Structures (WALS), our preliminary ex- periments show that typologically-based clusters look quite different from genetic groups, but perform as good or better when used to predict feature values of member languages.