[Corpora-List] English is close to Sandinavian languages

John F Sowa sowa at bestweb.net
Fri Nov 30 15:41:04 CET 2012


On 11/30/2012 8:37 AM, Yuri Tambovtsev wrote:
> English may be closer to Scandinavian languages. In fact, I applied the
> method of Chi-square to the Germanic languages and found that Danish is
> very close to English by the distribution of phonemes in the speech
> sound chain.

That qualifier "by the distribution of phonemes" is critical.

By vocabulary, for example, French and Italian are more closely related than either is to the Spanish and Portuguese group. But by phonology, French and Italian are very different; so are Spanish and Portuguese.

There are also questions about the core vocabulary vs. borrowings -- such as borrowing from Italian into French or borrowing from Arabic into Spanish and Portuguese.

In your analyses, do you relate the various measures of closeness to historical events? Geographical location? Migrations? Wars?

For example, Galician evolved from an early version of Portuguese, but it has been strongly influenced by the national boundaries. How are the historical developments correlated with changes in the measures of closeness?

John



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