Begus (2018) – Bootstrapping Sound Changes

Bootstrapping Sound Changes
Gasper Begus
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November 2018
This paper presents a new technique for estimating the influences of channel bias on phonological typology called Bootstrapping Sound Changes (BSC). The BSC technique enables the estimation of Historical Probability, the probability that a synchronic alternation arises based on two diachronic factors — the number of sound changes required for an alternation to arise and their respective probabilities. With the BSC technique, we can estimate Historical Probabilities of attested and unattested alternations, compare Historical Probabilities of alternations and perform inferential statistics on the comparison, and compare outputs of the diachronic model against the independently observed synchronic typology to evaluate the performance of the Channel Bias approach. The BSC technique also identifies mismatches in typological predic- tions of the Analytic Bias and Channel Bias approaches. By comparing these mismatches with the observed typology, this paper attempts to quantitatively evaluate the distinct contributions of the two influences on typology.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004299
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Submitted.
keywords: historical phonology, sound change, bootstrapping, learnability, typology, phonology