Visualizing Linguistic Relationships of Uto-Aztecan and Bantu Languages Colby Ford2, Ming Xue1, Peter Whiteley1, Ward Wheeler1, Daniel Janies2, Xinghua Shi1
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.
- Bastin, Yvonne, André Coupez, and Michael Mann. Continuity and divergence in the Bantu languages: perspectives from a lexicostatistic study. No. 162. Musée royal de l'Afrique centrale, 1999.
- Holden, Clare Janaki. "Bantu language trees reflect the spread of farming across sub-Saharan Africa: a maximum-parsimony analysis." Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 269.1493 (2002): 793-799.
- Holden, Clare J., Andrew Meade, and Mark Pagel. "Comparison of maximum parsimony and Bayesian Bantu language trees." Left Coast Press, 2005. 53-66.
- Holden, Clare J., and Russell D. Gray. "Rapid radiation, borrowing and dialect continua in the Bantu languages." Phylogenetic methods and the prehistory of languages 19 (2006).
- Currie, Thomas E., et al. "Cultural phylogeography of the Bantu Languages of sub-Saharan Africa." Proc. R. Soc. B. Vol. 280. No. 1762. The Royal Society, 2013.
- Grollemund, Rebecca, et al. "Bantu expansion shows that habitat alters the route and pace of human dispersals." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112.43 (2015): 13296-13301.
- Bostoen, Koen, et al. "Middle to late Holocene paleoclimatic change and the early Bantu expansion in the rain forests of Western Central Africa." Current Anthropology 56.3 (2015): 367-368.
- Wheeler, Ward C., and Peter M. Whiteley. "Historical linguistics as a sequence optimization problem: the evolution and biogeography of Uto‐Aztecan languages." Cladistics 31.2 (2015): 113-125.