Linguistic Phylogenetic Inference by PAM-like Matrices
Nello Cristianini and antonella delmestri
We apply to the task of linguistic phylogenetic inference a successful cognate identification learning
model based on PAM-like matrices. We train our system and we employ the learned parameters for
measuring the lexical distance between languages. We estimate phylogenetic trees using distancebased
methods on an Indo-European database. Our results reproduce correctly all the established
major language groups present in the dataset, are compatible with the Indo-European benchmark tree
and include also some of the supported higher-level structures. We review and compare other studies
reported in the literature with respect to recognised aspects of Indo-European history.
Keywords: phylogenetic inference, distance-based methods, PAM-like matrices.