Russell Gray's Research Lab

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How old is the Indo-European language family?

Atkinson, Q.D. & Gray, R.D. (2006). How old is the Indo-European language family? Progress or more moths to the flame? In: Phylogenetic Methods and the Prehistory of Languages. Cambridge: The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, 91-109.

Keywords: indo-european, russell gray, quentin atkinson, language evolution, phylogenetics,


In this chapter, we outline how techniques derived from evolutionary biology can be adapted to test between competing hypotheses about the age of the Indo-European language family. We argue that these techniques are a useful supplement to traditional methods in historical linguistics. This chapter is a development and extension of previous work on the application of phylogenetic methods to the study of language evolution (Gray & Atkinson 2003; Atkinson & Gray 2006; Atkinson et al. 2005).

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