DDL - UMR 5596
ISH - Bat C
14 avenue Berthelot
69007 Lyon
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Since the early 80s, a series of scientific studies, initiated in particular by Luca Cavalli-Sforza, have unveiled rather surprising parallels between genetic and linguistic trees (classifications). The objective of the present project is to check the relevance as well as the extent of such parallels for a well-defined case: the Bantu expansion.

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With the drastic advances in computer sciences, designing and exploiting computerized databases has led to fructuous research programs in linguistics. Among others topics, the questions related to the diversity and evolution of the world’s languages have been addressed in new and original fashions, whether at the level of typology, historical reconstruction or modelling of changes. Although they require a rather substantial investment in time in order to collect, record and display the data in a uniform way, databases allow researchers to: i) better characterize a phenomenon in its diversity (geographical or temporal distribution, representative samples, etc.) ii) conduct various analyzes, especially of statistical nature, to shed light on the mechanisms underlying the distribution of the data iii) use realistic data as entries of various models.

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