Languages evolve, undergoing repeated small changes, some with permanent effect and some not. Changes affecting a language may be independent or contact-induced. Independent changes arise internally or, if externally, from non-linguistic causes. En masse, such changes cause isolated languages to drift apart in lexical form and grammatical structure. Contact-induced changes can happen when languages share speakers, or when their speakers are in contact. Frequently, languages in contact are related, having a common ancestor from which they still retain visible structure. This relatedness makes it difficult to distinguish contact-induced change from inherited similarities. In this paper, we present a simulation of contact-induced change. We show that it is possible to distinguish contact-induced change from independent change given (a) enough data, and (b) that the contact- induced change is strong enough. For a par- ticular model, we determine how much data is enough to distinguish these two cases at p < 0.05.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the EACL 2012 Workshop on Computational Models of Language Acquisition and Loss 2012|
|Place of Publication||USA|
|Publisher||Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
|Event||EACL 2012 Workshop on Computational Models of Language Acquisition and Loss - Avignon, France|
Duration: 24 Apr 2012 → 24 Apr 2012
|Conference||EACL 2012 Workshop on Computational Models of Language Acquisition and Loss|
|Period||24/04/12 → 24/04/12|
Ellison, M., & Miceli, L. (2012). Distinguishing contact-induced change from language drift in genetically related languages. In Proceedings of the EACL 2012 Workshop on Computational Models of Language Acquisition and Loss 2012 (Vol. 13, pp. 1-9). Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL).