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Quantitative Historical Linguistics


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Table of Contents

1: Context 2: Foundations 3: Corpora and quantitative methods in historical linguistics 4: Historical corpus annotation 5: (Re)using resources for historical languages 6: The role of numbers in historical linguistics 7: A new methodology

About the Author

Gard B. Jenset studied English, history, and computer science before earning his PhD in English linguistics, specializing in historical corpus linguistics, from the University of Bergen (2010). After working as an associate professor of English Linguistics at Bergen University College, he took up work on artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and computational linguistics in industry. He has published research in historical linguistics, corpus linguistics, and applied linguistics. Barbara McGillivray holds a degree in Mathematics and one in Classics from the University of Florence (Italy), and a Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics from the University of Pisa (2010). She has worked as a language technologist in the Dictionary division of Oxford University Press and as a data scientist in the Open Research Group of Springer Nature. She is currently a Research Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute/University of Cambridge. She has published in the fields of mathematics, corpus linguistics, computational linguistics, historical linguistics, and lexicography. Her monograph Methods in Latin Computational Linguistics was published by Brill in 2013.


Jenset and McGillivray's work is novel in applying this to historical linguistics, providing a step-by-step guide to the research process (Chapter 7) and case studies on historical linguistic phenomena. Overall, it is a clearly written, well-conceived guide to quantitative historical linguistics, combin-ing both theoretical background and practical instructions. * Monika Foldenauer, Journal of Historical Sociolinguistics *
Corpus-driven quantitative approaches have huge potentials in historical linguistics, and this treatise on methodology provides a firm starting point for historical linguists to know and accept these approaches, in an informative and accessible manner. I believe scholars will greatly benefit from reading this book. * Foinse 'O Caoimh, Linguist List *

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