Structural Phylogenetics and the Reconstruction of Ancient Language History

@article{Dunn2005StructuralPA,
  title={Structural Phylogenetics and the Reconstruction of Ancient Language History},
  author={Michael Dunn and Angela Terrill and Ger P. Reesink and Robert A. Foley and Stephen C. Levinson},
  journal={Science},
  year={2005},
  volume={309},
  pages={2072 - 2075}
}
The contribution of language history to the study of the early dispersals of modern humans throughout the Old World has been limited by the shallow time depth (about 8000 ± 2000 years) of current linguistic methods. Here it is shown that the application of biological cladistic methods, not to vocabulary (as has been previously tried) but to language structure (sound systems and grammar), may extend the time depths at which language data can be used. The method was tested against well-understood… 
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