New technology unlocks the origins of modern languages

02/18/2013 | BBC

Researchers have developed new software that can identify the origin of modern languages. For example, the computer program analyzed 637 Asian languages to generate the common language that would have been their linguistic ancestor. Linguists traditionally have carried out such work, but experts say the program will help speed the process. "It would take hundreds of lifetimes to pore over all those languages, cross-referencing all the different changes that happened across such an expanse of space -- and of time. But this is where computers shine," said Dan Klein, associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

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