The effect of morphological typology on comparative method: an attempt of quantitative assessment
Artemij Keidan
March 2022

The paper tries to give a formal answer to the following question: how did the Indo-European hypothesis become the most successful one in the comparative linguistics. I interpret this “empirical reliability” of the Indo-European as the availability of a high number of roots shared by all the involved languages (or, at least, by the most representative ones). An attempt is made to correlate the empirical reliability to the inflectionality of these languages. It is argued that, unlike morphological compositionality in agglutinative languages, the idiomaticity of derivation observed in the inflectional languages allows them to preserve more lexemes suitable for filling the cognate table. The hypothesis is tested by comparing two random groups of languages: Germanic for the inflectional type and Finno-Ugric for the agglutinative. The evidence seems to confirm the claim.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006536
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: (desk)rejected by four journals; still a good paper
keywords: indo-european; finno-ugric; comparative method; cognates; agglutinativity; inflectionality; compositionality; idiomaticity, morphology
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