Blogpost on Lexical Change
Most computational approaches to historical linguistics, be it those producing networks or those producing trees, make use of lexical data. There are several reasons for this preference. Lexical data is much easier to handle than abstract grammatical data. Many linguists also think that lexical data is more representative of language evolution in general, and thus offers a much better starting point for inferences. Whether one likes the preference for lexical data or not, it seems to be worthwhile to think more closely about the nature of lexical data and the complexities of lexical change.