Johann-Mattis List: Computer-Assisted and Cross-Linguistic Approaches to Phonetics and Phonology

The field of computational historical linguistics has been developing fast during the past two decades, not only with respect to phylogenetic reconstruction, but also with respect to computational approaches in historical phonology and historical language comparison. An important contribution was the es- tablishment of standards for phonetic representation (using stricter versions of the International Phonetic Alphabet, (see and their appli- cation to large collections of multilingual wordlists ( Together with the numerous tools that were developed to manipulate sound sequences, we have reached a stage where many analyses that would have re- quired enormous annotation efforts in the past can now be done automatically. As a result, we see a lot of potential for computer-assisted and cross-linguistic approaches to phonetics and phonology in the nearer future.

The talk will introduce the most important tools that were developed in the context of our research group on Computer-Assisted Language Compari- son ( and share some actual ideas for future research in which these tools could be used to help addressing problems beyond the scope of historical language comparison.