American Journal of Applied Sciences

Can Grammar Define Similarity of Human Natural Languages?

Vladimir Nikolaevich Polyakov, Ivan Sergeevich Anisimov and Elena Andreevna Makarova

DOI : 10.3844/ajassp.2016.1040.1052

American Journal of Applied Sciences

Volume 13, Issue 10

Pages 1040-1052

Abstract

The aim of the present study is to show that similarity of human natural languages can be conveyed not only by phonetic data, but also by grammar. The paper regards the largest typological database WALS and its possibilities in the sphere of genealogic relationship of languages. Using the method of two-objective optimization and data mining, which is new for linguistic studies, we show that grammatical (structural) data, as well as phonetic data, can deliver information on the similarity of languages. Language isolates and micro-families do not have genealogic relatives based on phonetic information, but they do have genealogic relatives based on grammar information.

Copyright

© 2016 Vladimir Nikolaevich Polyakov, Ivan Sergeevich Anisimov and Elena Andreevna Makarova. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.