Aslian linguistic prehistory
A case study in computational phylogenetics
This paper analyzes newly collected lexical data from 26 languages of the Aslian subgroup of the Austroasiatic language family using computational phylogenetic methods. We show the most likely topology of the Aslian family tree, discuss rooting and external relationships to other Austroasiatic languages, and investigate differences in the rates of diversification of different branches. Evidence is given supporting the classification of Jah Hut as a fourth top level subgroup of the family. The phylogenetic positions of known geographic and linguistic outlier languages are clarified, and the relationships of the little studied Aslian languages of Southern Thailand to the rest of the family are explored.
Keywords: Computational phylogenetics, evolutionary modeling, Aslian languages, Orang Asli, Austroasiatic languages, Mon Khmer languages
Published online: 06 October 2011
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