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Mots-Clefs DDL

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databases

 

With the drastic advances in computer sciences, designing and exploiting computerized databases has led to fructuous research programs in linguistics. Among others topics, the questions related to the diversity and evolution of the world’s languages have been addressed in new and original fashions, whether at the level of typology, historical reconstruction or modelling of changes. Although they require a rather substantial investment in time in order to collect, record and display the data in a uniform way, databases allow researchers to: i) better characterize a phenomenon in its diversity (geographical or temporal distribution, representative samples, etc.) ii) conduct various analyzes, especially of statistical nature, to shed light on the mechanisms underlying the distribution of the data iii) use realistic data as entries of various models.

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The way the world’s languages rely on different inventories of sounds to build the words of their lexicon contribute in a significant way to their diversity. Far from being randomly assembled, these inventories of various sizes are as many possible answers to the physiological, perceptive and cognitive human features; in these systems, sounds occur in a structured way, especially in terms of meaningful oppositions with respect to the lexicon. Phonology and phonetics both aim at unravelling the main principles of the structure and evolution of sound systems, and therefore at understanding their typological diversity in terms of underlying mechanisms

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