Researchers have learned to predict the meanings of unfamiliar words from ancient languages

Linguistic historians have long used the comparative method to reconstruct ancient languages, not

attested in written sources.It consists in a detailed comparison of words in related languages ​​of descendants and allows linguists to draw conclusions about the ancient pronunciation of words that have never been recorded.

Scientists are now using the same approach toto predict how an undocumented word will sound in a particular language. To do this, they need basic information about the language and related words that have been preserved in written sources.

Two researchers from the University of Londondescribed the results of an experiment in which they applied the traditional comparative method to predict the pronunciation of words in eight Western linguistic varieties of kho-bwa spoken in India. Belonging to the trans-Himalayan family, these species have not yet been described by researchers.

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Researchers have come up with a process wherebythe algorithm helps to predict missing verbal forms. Classical methods involve manual decryption, and new computational solutions have helped scientists to improve the efficiency and reliability of the process, and all results were subsequently manually verified and refined. To increase the transparency and credibility of the experiment, they then logged their predictions online.

“Registration is incredibly important in many scientificfields because it ensures that researchers adhere to a good scientific base. As far as we know, this has not been done in science yet, ”the researchers note.

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