(Imagine Source: Wikimedia Commons)

BY CHRIS LONG


Computer scientists at the University of California-Berkeley have created what they’re calling a ‘time machine.’ Chill-out, Doc Brown. It’s not in the back of a DeLorean.

Actually, according to UC-Berkeley’s website - it’s a computer program that can rapidly reconstruct “proto-languages,” the linguistic ancestors from which all modern languages have evolved.


Right now, the BBC reports the slow and labor intensive language reconstructions are performed by linguists.

Dan Klein told TG Daily his program will be able able to do what took linguists years, in hours. And it can do it with 85% accuracy.

”What excites me about this system is that it takes so many of the great ideas that linguists have had about historical reconstruction, and it automates them at a new scale: more data, more words, more languages, but less time.”

Nature.com says Klein’s program identifies words with the same root in languages, which will help researchers  better understand where languages originated and how different languages and word meanings are related through a more diverse language tree.

Researchers have tested this system on over 100,000 words from over 600 ancestor languages from the Pacific Ocean.

So, no, we won’t be able to physically go back to 1955 BCE. But scientists and researchers will be able to understand ancient cultures much better.


 

UC-Berkeley Researchers Create Linguistic 'Time Machine'

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Feb 12, 2013

UC-Berkeley Researchers Create Linguistic 'Time Machine'

(Imagine Source: Wikimedia Commons)

BY CHRIS LONG


Computer scientists at the University of California-Berkeley have created what they’re calling a ‘time machine.’ Chill-out, Doc Brown. It’s not in the back of a DeLorean.

Actually, according to UC-Berkeley’s website - it’s a computer program that can rapidly reconstruct “proto-languages,” the linguistic ancestors from which all modern languages have evolved.


Right now, the BBC reports the slow and labor intensive language reconstructions are performed by linguists.

Dan Klein told TG Daily his program will be able able to do what took linguists years, in hours. And it can do it with 85% accuracy.

”What excites me about this system is that it takes so many of the great ideas that linguists have had about historical reconstruction, and it automates them at a new scale: more data, more words, more languages, but less time.”

Nature.com says Klein’s program identifies words with the same root in languages, which will help researchers  better understand where languages originated and how different languages and word meanings are related through a more diverse language tree.

Researchers have tested this system on over 100,000 words from over 600 ancestor languages from the Pacific Ocean.

So, no, we won’t be able to physically go back to 1955 BCE. But scientists and researchers will be able to understand ancient cultures much better.


 

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