Computerized comparative linguistics - Greek

Comparative linguistics - Greek
Posted by: A.R. on January 5, 2013, 19:02
I don't quite agree on the results associated with the Greek language. I speak it myself and when I take, for instance, a single comparison between Greek and German, the result is 89. This is definitely not consistent. Do you have an explanation?
Posted by: Vincent on January 6, 2013, 20:55
Thank you for your remark! You are definitely right: the result for the genetic proximity between Greek and German should be somewhere between 50 and 70 - both belong to the Indo-European language family. The material I have used for Greek is quite superficial. I will soon publish all data so anyone will be able to see the words as used in the comparisons and hopefully help improving. I'll come back to you as soon as I publish the material.
Posted by: Vincent on January 9, 2013, 21:32
Hello again,
I have improved the material in my Greek sample using Google translate as an additional source. I have sorted out all results associated with Greek and the top 25 with the best proximity are:
Greek -> Lithuanian: 52
Greek -> Latin: 52
Greek -> Italian: 57
Greek -> Romanian: 57
Greek -> French: 58
Greek -> Breton: 60
Greek -> Danish: 61
Greek -> Dutch: 62
Greek -> TocharianA: 62
Greek -> Catalan: 63
Greek -> Albanian: 64
Greek -> Swedish: 64
Greek -> Galician: 65
Greek -> Norvegian: 65
Greek -> Nepali: 66
Greek -> English: 67
Greek -> Portuguese: 67
Greek -> Sco.Gaelic: 67
Greek -> Ossetic: 68
Greek -> Pandjabi: 68
Greek -> Tadjik: 68
Greek -> Urdu: 68
Greek -> German: 69
Greek -> Persian: 69
Greek -> Welsh: 69
All of them are Indo-European. Lithuanian (often considered as a slow evolving language and as such nearer to Proto Indo-European) as well as Latin get the best marks - which makes sense...
The genetic proximity to all these languages, however, remains quite big. This has much to do with the fact that Greek is an isolated language in the Indo-European family. I get similar results with Albanian and Armenian which are also isolated in the family. Results above 70 are not suited for conclusions since too few occurrences generate a small level of proximity that can be/is also due to chance.
Any remaks/corrections about the Greek words as they are in the following table are welcome! (this is the detail table for German to Greek)
  English    Greek     German   Comments  Points  
  Exact consonant match -N-/-N-
Exact consonant match -KH-/-KH-
Exact consonant match -T-/-T-
  Exact consonant match -R-/-R-
  Related consonant match -S-/-D-
  Exact consonant match -N-/-N-
Exact consonant match -M-/-M-
  Related consonant match -SH-/-D-
  Related consonant match -KH-/-H-
  Related consonant match -SH-/-S-
  Exact consonant match -R-/-R-
  Related consonant match -T-/-D-
Exact consonant match -R-/-R-
  Exact consonant match -N-/-N-
  Exact consonant match -N-/-N-
Total Points/# of words: 564 / 18 (=31 / 100)    -> Genetic distance: 69
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