Phylogenetic Methods and the Prehistory of Languages

Front Cover
Peter Forster, Colin Renfrew
McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, 2006 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 198 pages
Evolutionary ('phylogenetic') trees were first used to infer lost histories nearly two centuries ago by manuscript scholars reconstructing original texts. Today, computer methods are enabling phylogenetic trees to transform genetics, historical linguistics and even the archaeological study of artefact shapes and styles. But which phylogenetic methods are best suited to retracing the evolution of languages? And which types of language data are most informative about deep prehistory? In this book, leading specialists engage with these key questions. Essential reading for linguists, geneticists and archaeologists, these studies demonstrate how phylogenetic tools are illuminating previously intractable questions about language prehistory. This innovative volume arose from a conference of linguists, geneticists and archaeologists held at Cambridge in 2004.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Malagasy Language as a Guide to Understanding Malagasy History
11
Rapid Radiation Borrowing and Dialect Continua in the Bantu Languages
19
Multilateral Comparison and Significance Testing of the IndoUralic Question
33
Copyright

14 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

Colin Renfrew (Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn) was formerly Disney Professor of Archaeology and Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research in the University of Cambridge, and Master of Jesus College Cambridge from 1986 to 1997. He has excavated at a number of sites in prehistoric Greece and in the Orkney Islands, and is the author of many publications, including Prehistory: the making of the human mind (2008). He is Fellow of the British Academy, Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, and was the recipient of the Balzan Prize in 2004.

Bibliographic information