Bootstrapping Sound Changes


Beguš, G., In Preparation. Bootstrapping Sound Changes.


This paper presents applications of a technique for estimating influences of the Channel Bias on phonological typology called Bootstrapping Sound Changes (BSC). Following Author (2017), we argue that for any synchronic alternation, the BSC technique enables estimation of the probability that the alternation arises based on the number of sound changes it requires and their respective probabilities. This paper develops and illustrates further applications of the proposed model. With the Bootstrapping Sound Changes technique, we can compare Historical Probabilities of attested and unattested alternations and perform inferential statistics on the comparison, predict (un)attestedness in a given sample for any alternation, and derive quantitative outputs for a typological framework that models both Channel Bias and Analytical Bias influences together. The BSC technique also identifies several mismatches in typological predictions of the Analytic and Channel Bias approaches. By comparing these mismatches with the observed typology, the paper attempts to disambiguate Analytic Bias and Channel Bias influences on typology.


Last updated on 01/10/2018