Scientists Develop Linguistic Time Machine

Scientists Develop Linguistic Time Machine

It may always be exciting to know how ancient people talked to each other or what kind of languages might have been used in the earlier times. Scientists from the University of British Columbia and UC Berkeley have come up with such an invention that helps know the same.

They have shown that anything is possible if one is willing and determined. A computer program has been developed in collaboration with researchers, which as per the report, is aimed at reconstructing ancient language vocabularies.

The team's creation is a linguistic time machine of sorts. The same has the ability to crunch data on a few of the "proto-languages", earliest-known to give rise to modern languages. Modern languages may comprise of Javanese, Malay and Hawaiian as well as languages spoken in Australasia, parts of continental Asia and the Pacific.

It is being said that the program would use modern language descendants of ancient languages to reconstruct vocabularies. The key is the scale and speed of the work since a painstaking manual process is involved in the reconstruction of proto-languages. The process includes comparison of two or more languages hailing from a common ancestor.

"What excites me about this system is, it takes so many of the great ideas that linguists have had about historical reconstruction, and it automates them at a new scale", associate professor of computer science, Dan Klein, said.


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