More on Vajda’s Siberian-Na-Dene Language Link

National Geographic News has just published an article about the recent symposium in Alaska regarding a possible connection between Yeniseic languages in Siberia and Na-Dene languages in the Americas. John Roach's article, Siberian, Native American Languages Linked -- A First, highlights the recent work of Edward Vajda, who defended his connection during the February symposium.... Continue Reading →

What is unique about the human arcuate fasciculus… and what does it have to do with language?

Despite the fact that I've seen some really impactful primate related research lately, I've completely neglected updating with it. I can't believe it has been almost three months since I've posted there! I should really resume posting there. Actually, I was considering putting up this following blog post over there, since it has to... Continue Reading →

AI as a Research Tool

The question answering (QA) research group at Carnegie Mellon University has recently released an open source version of their Ephyra Question and Answer System. The software utilizes the internet to answer linguistic questions as well as recognize syntax, word ordering, and tone, using a series of algorithms to produce the most context-appropriate and statistically correct... Continue Reading →

Introducing Alex Greengaard

So you probably just saw the new post, the one announcing an upcoming linguistic conference on a possible link between the Yeniseic and Na-Dene language families. Well, I, Kambiz Kamrani, did not publish that post. It was actually authored by Alex Greengaard, who's a new blogger here at Usually, I introduce new contributors to... Continue Reading →

The Siberian Origin of Na-Dene Languages

Following up on recent discussion of the peopling of the Americas, The University of Alaska at Fairbanks is hosting a conference about the possible link between Siberian (Yeniseic) and Na-Dene language families. The conference, titled Dene-Yeniseic Symposium, will be held on February 26, 27 and 29, 2008, and will feature a lecture from Edward Vajda,... Continue Reading →

The Indo-European Language Tree

To supplement last week's discussion on language evolution, I stumbled upon an Indo-European language tree posted on Jonathan Beaton's blog. Neither Jonathan nor I know where it was published, nor what data was used to construct the tree and its relationships. So it may not be completely accurate... but it is a nifty illustration. Just... Continue Reading →

Punctuated Equilibrium drives Language Evolution

Fellow blogger, Simon Greenhill of HENRY, and co-authors published a cool paper evaluating language evolution that just came out in today's issue of Science. The premise behind the paper, "Languages Evolve in Punctuational Bursts," is simple to follow. By comparing related versions, or homologs, of common words between the following language families: Indo-European, Bantu, and... Continue Reading →

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