Abstract and Keywords
As part of the Automated Similarity Judgment Program (ASJP), a simple method for comparing languages or language varieties has been developed. The method involves the comparison of words with the same meaning and the measurement of phonological differences between such words using a different version of the so-called Levenshtein distance (LD), which measures the number of substitutions, deletions, and insertions needed to turn one string of symbols into another. Subsequently distances between pairs of speech varieties can be obtained by averaging distances among the different words that are being compared. This approach was implemented by dialectologists working on Irish and Dutch, and has more recently been applied to several other languages and language families. This article describes a relatively new methodology, that of an automated lexicostatistics using the LD, which treats dialects and creoles in essentially the same way in investigating varieties of the English language.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.