Mathematical methods expose novel relationships driving language change and evolution
As early as Darwin, the "curious parallels" between biological and linguistic evolution were clear. Phylogenetic trees showing diversification and spread as descended from common "ancestors" are just as relevant to modern linguistics studies as they are to biology. Similarly, computational and statistical methods are applied to gain insight and deepen understanding regarding the sources of patterns of linguistic variations across languages (cross-linguistic variation). The EU-funded CrossLingference project is applying well-established mathematical, statistical, modelling and simulation methods to cross-linguistic variation with the goal of significantly enhancing our ability to explain relationships and drivers of change.
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