Visualizing Linguistic Relationships of Uto-Aztecan and Bantu Languages Colby Ford2, Ming Xue1, Peter Whiteley1, Ward Wheeler1, Daniel Janies2, Xinghua Shi1

Abstract

Language origins and diversification are crucial for understanding historical relationships among human populations. In this study, we present a novel means of analyzing and visualizing relationships among different language groups. Based on the Swadesh-100 list of words, we produced two lexical data sets, which we rendered into LaTeX TIPA format. The Uto-Aztecan (UA) data set, from North and Central America, includes 37 Uto-Aztecan languages and three non-UA outgroups. The Bantu data set includes 93 Bantu languages and 12 Bantoid outgroups, from sub-Saharan Africa. Our alphabets comprise 148 distinct sounds for UA and 287 for Bantu. For each language a "mean word" was created and were plotted by reducing the 148- and 287- dimensional data into three clusters by running the k-Means Clustering algorithm. This allows the visualization of the different languages in 3-dimensional interactive plots, revealing interesting linguistic disparity patterns.

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