Phylogenetic comparative methods: What all the fuss is about, and how to use them in everyday research


Details on the LADAL webpage

Recording on YouTube

Accompanying LADAL tutorial on Phylogentics for language data

In this talk, we attempt two tasks. Firstly, we dispel some of the mystery around phylogenetic comparative methods and highlight their fundamental relationship to matters of enduring concern in linguistic typology. Secondly, we aim to show how linguists can carry out essential tasks using phylogenetic methods, easily.

We begin by laying out the historical commonalities between typology and comparative biology, and the breakthrough insight that makes phylogenetic comparative methods distinct. This is followed by an overview of some fundamental phylogenetic concepts and tools. Finally, we illustrate these with a typological case study from the Pama-Nyungan languages. Our talk is accompanied by online interactive materials, demonstrating how phylogenetic comparative methods can be incorporated into everyday typological workflows.