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Our article proposes an original methodology of gauging the rate of grammatical change in different languages. Our methodology rests upon large typological database and makes use of phylogenetic algorithms borrowed from mathematical apparatus of modern evolutionary biology. Our primary source of reference is the database "World Languages" maintained by the Institute for Linguistics of the RAS - the database, which offers a detailed account of phonetics, morphology, and syntax of more than 315 languages. By aid of mathematics we demonstrate that the rate, at which the Indo-European languages have changed in the course of the last millenniums, is considerably higher than the rate of change that has taken place in the Ural-Altaic languages. The article offers a rationale for this phenomenon.
languages’ evolution, rate of change, grammatical system, database
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