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Cladistic Parsimony, Historical Linguistics and Cultural Phylogenetics

Cabrera, Frank (2017) Cladistic Parsimony, Historical Linguistics and Cultural Phylogenetics. Mind and Language, 32 (1). pp. 65-100.

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Abstract

Here, I consider the recent application of phylogenetic methods in historical linguistics. After a preliminary survey of one such method, i.e. cladistic parsimony, I respond to two common criticisms of cultural phylogenies: that cultural artifacts cannot be modeled as tree-like because of borrowing across lineages, and that the mechanism of cultural change differs radically from that of biological evolution. I argue that while perhaps remains true for certain cultural artifacts, the nature of language may be such as to side-step this objection. Moreover, I explore the possibility that cladistic parsimony can be justified even if is true by appealing to the inference pattern known among philosophers as ‘Inference to the Best Explanation’.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Cabrera, Frankfjcabrera@wisc.edu
Keywords: Parsimony Historical Linguistics Phylogenetic Inference Inference to the Best Explanation IBE Likelihoodism
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Systematics
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Frank Cabrera
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2017 01:00
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2017 01:00
Item ID: 13276
Journal or Publication Title: Mind and Language
Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.ezproxy.library.wis...
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Systematics
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Explanation
Date: 2017
Page Range: pp. 65-100
Volume: 32
Number: 1
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13276

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