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Open AccessArticle

Measuring Language Distance of Isolated European Languages

1
Centro Singular de Investigación en Tecnoloxías Intelixentes (CiTIUS), Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 15782 Galiza, Spain
2
Imaxin|software, Santiago de Compostela, 15702 Galiza, Spain
3
IXA NLP Group, University of Basque Country, 48940 Bilbao, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Information 2020, 11(4), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11040181
Received: 24 February 2020 / Revised: 23 March 2020 / Accepted: 25 March 2020 / Published: 27 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Humanities)
Phylogenetics is a sub-field of historical linguistics whose aim is to classify a group of languages by considering their distances within a rooted tree that stands for their historical evolution. A few European languages do not belong to the Indo-European family or are otherwise isolated in the European rooted tree. Although it is not possible to establish phylogenetic links using basic strategies, it is possible to calculate the distances between these isolated languages and the rest using simple corpus-based techniques and natural language processing methods. The objective of this article is to select some isolated languages and measure the distance between them and from the other European languages, so as to shed light on the linguistic distances and proximities of these controversial languages without considering phylogenetic issues. The experiments were carried out with 40 European languages including six languages that are isolated in their corresponding families: Albanian, Armenian, Basque, Georgian, Greek, and Hungarian. View Full-Text
Keywords: language distance; phylogenetics; perplexity; clustering; kullback leibler divergence language distance; phylogenetics; perplexity; clustering; kullback leibler divergence
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Gamallo, P.; Pichel, J.R.; Alegria, I. Measuring Language Distance of Isolated European Languages. Information 2020, 11, 181.

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