Papers to appear

  • Jäger, G. and J.-M. List (forthcoming): Using Ancestral State Reconstruction Methods for Onomasiological Reconstruction in Multilingual Word Lists. Language Dynamics and Change ?? ??-??.

    ancestral state reconstructionmaximum likelihoodsemantic reconstructionDRAFTBibTex

  • Papers from 2017

  • Hill, N. and J.-M. List (2017): Challenges of annotation and analysis in computer-assisted language comparison: A case study on Burmish languages. Yearbook of the Poznań Linguistic Meeting 3.1. 47–76.

    computer-assisted approachBurmish languagesannotationCODEDOIPDFSUPPLEMENTURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2017): Vertikale und laterale Aspekte der chinesischen Dialektgeschichte [Vertical and lateral aspects of Chinese dialect history]. Research Report. Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History: Jena.

    Chinese dialectologysequence comparisonphylogenetic networksDOIURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M., J. Pathmanathan, N. Hill, E. Bapteste, and P. Lopez (2017): Vowel purity and rhyme evidence in Old Chinese reconstruction. Lingua Sinica 3.1. 1-17.

    Old Chinese reconstructionrhyme networksassortativityCODEDOIPDFSUPPLEMENTURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2017): Using network models to analyze Old Chinese rhyme data. Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics 9.2. 218-241.

    Old Chinese reconstructionnetwork approachrhyme evidenceCODEDEMODOIDRAFTBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2017): [Book Review] Cultural Phylogenetics: Concepts and Applications in Archaeology. — Edited by Larissa Mendoza Straffon. Systematic Biology 66.2. 474-476.

    cultural evolutionbook reviewarchaeologyDOIPDFURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2017): A web-based interactive tool for creating, inspecting, editing, and publishing etymological datasets. In: Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics. System Demonstrations. 9-12.


  • List, J.-M., S. Greenhill, and R. Gray (2017): The potential of automatic word comparison for historical linguistics. PLOS ONE 12.1. 1-18.

    cognate detectionsimilarity networksgold standardCODEDOIPDFSUPPLEMENTURLBibTex

  • Jäger, G., J.-M. List, and P. Sofroniev (2017): Using support vector machines and state-of-the-art algorithms for phonetic alignment to identify cognates in multi-lingual wordlists. In: Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics. Long Papers. 1204-1215.

    cognate detectionmachine learningsequence comparisonPDFBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2017): Contraction. In: Sybesma, R. (ed.): Encyclopedia of Chinese language and linguistics.1. 672-675.


  • List, J.-M. (2017): Fāngyán 方言. In: Sybesma, R. (ed.): Encyclopedia of Chinese language and linguistics.2. Brill: Leiden and Boston. 219-225.

    Chinese dialectologyhistorical linguisticsoverviewDOIDRAFTURLBibTex

  • Forkel, R., S. Greenhill, and J.-M. List (2017): Cross-Linguistic Data Formats (CLDF). Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History: Jena.


  • Papers from 2016

  • List, J.-M., A. Terhalle, and D. Schulzek (2016): Traces of embodiment in Chinese character formation. A frame approach to the interaction of writing, speaking, and meaning. In: Ströbel, L. (ed.): Sensory-motor concepts. At the crossroad between language \& cognition. Düsseldorf University Press: 45-62.

    embodimentChinese writing systemChinese character formationPDFURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M., J. Pathmanathan, P. Lopez, and E. Bapteste (2016): Unity and disunity in evolutionary sciences: process-based analogies open common research avenues for biology and linguistics. Biology Direct 11.39. 1-17.

    analogynetwork approachsimilarity networksCODEDOIPDFSUPPLEMENTURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M., P. Lopez, and E. Bapteste (2016): Using sequence similarity networks to identify partial cognates in multilingual wordlists. In: Proceedings of the Association of Computational Linguistics 2016 (Volume 2: Short Papers). Association of Computational Linguistics 599-605.

    similarity networkscognate detectionetymological relationsCODEPDFSUPPLEMENTURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2016): Beyond cognacy: Historical relations between words and their implication for phylogenetic reconstruction. Journal of Language Evolution 1.2. 119-136.

    Chinese dialectologyancestral state reconstructionetymological relationsCODEDOIPDFURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2016): Computer-Assisted Language Comparison: Reconciling Computational and Classical Approaches in Historical Linguistics . Research Proposal. Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History: Jena.

    computer-assisted language comparisonproject proposalSino-TibetanDOIPDFURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M., M. Cysouw, and R. Forkel (2016): Concepticon. A resource for the linking of concept lists. In: Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation. 2393-2400.

    concept listSwadesh listlinked dataCODEPDFURLBibTex

  • Jäger, G. and J.-M. List (2016): Investigating the potential of ancestral state reconstruction algorithms in historical linguistics. In: Proceedings of the Leiden Workshop on Capturing Phylogenetic Algorithms for Linguistics.

    ancestral state reconstructionMinimal Lateral Networkssemantic reconstructionDOIPDFBibTex

  • Papers from 2015

  • Chacon, T. and J.-M. List (2015): Improved computational models of sound change shed light on the history of the Tukanoan languages. Journal of Language Relationship 13.3. 177-204.

    phylogenetic reconstructionTukano languagessound changeCODEDEMOPDFURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2015): Network perspectives on Chinese dialect history. Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics 8. 42-67.

    Chinese dialectologyphylogenetic networksancestral state reconstructionCODEPDFURLBibTex

  • Jäger, G. and J.-M. List (2015): Factoring lexical and phonetic phylogenetic characters from word lists. In: Proceedings of the 6th Conference on Quantitative Investigations in Theoretical Linguistics. Eberhard-Karls University

    cognate detectionphonetic alignmentASJP dataCODEPDFURLBibTex

  • Papers from 2014

  • List, J.-M., S. Nelson-Sathi, W. Martin, and H. Geisler (2014): Using phylogenetic networks to model Chinese dialect history. Language Dynamics and Change 4.2. 222–252.

    Chinese dialectologyphylogenetic networksminimal lateral networksCODEDOIPDFSUPPLEMENTBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2014): Sequence comparison in historical linguistics. Düsseldorf University Press: Düsseldorf.

    cognate detectionphonetic alignmentsequence modelingCODEDOIPDFSUPPLEMENTURLBibTex

  • Mayer, T., J.-M. List, A. Terhalle, and M. Urban (2014): An interactive visualization of cross-linguistic colexification patterns. In: : Visualization as added value in the development, use and evaluation of Linguistic Resources. Workshop organized as part of the International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation. 1-8.

    polysemyconcept networkscolexificationCODEPDFURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M. and J. Prokić (2014): A benchmark database of phonetic alignments in historical linguistics and dialectology.. In: Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation. 288-294.

    phonetic alignmentgold standardCODEPDFSUPPLEMENTURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2014): Investigating the impact of sample size on cognate detection. Journal of Language Relationship 11. 91-101.

    cognate detectionsample sizeCODEPDFSUPPLEMENTURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M., S. Nelson-Sathi, H. Geisler, and W. Martin (2014): Networks of lexical borrowing and lateral gene transfer in language and genome evolution. Bioessays 36.2. 141-150.

    lexical borrowingphylogenetic networksminimal lateral networksCODEPDFSUPPLEMENTURLBibTex

  • Papers from 2013

  • Nelson-Sathi, S., O. Popa, J.-M. List, H. Geisler, W. Martin, and T. Dagan (2013): Reconstructing the lateral component of language history and genome evolution using network approaches. In: : Classification and evolution in biology, linguistics and the history of science. Concepts – methods – visualization. Franz Steiner Verlag: Stuttgart. 163-180.

    classesborrowingminimal lateral networksPDFURLBibTex

  • Lopez, P., J.-M. List, and E. Bapteste (2013): A preliminary case for exploratory networks in biology and linguistics: the phonetic network of Chinese words as a case-study. In: Fangerau, H., H. Geisler, T. Halling, and W. Martin (eds.): Classification and evolution in biology, linguistics and the history of science. Concepts – methods – visualization. Franz Steiner Verlag: Stuttgart. 181-196.

    2theorysequence similarity networksphonetic alignmentPDFURLBibTex

  • Geisler, H. and J.-M. List (2013): Do languages grow on trees? The tree metaphor in the history of linguistics. In: Fangerau, H., H. Geisler, T. Halling, and W. Martin (eds.): Classification and evolution in biology, linguistics and the history of science. Concepts – methods – visualization. Franz Steiner Verlag: Stuttgart. 111-124.

    history of linguisticsfamily treewave theoryPDFURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M. and S. Moran (2013): An open source toolkit for quantitative historical linguistics. In: Proceedings of the ACL 2013 System Demonstrations. Association for Computational Linguistics 13-18.

    software packagephonetic alignmentcognate detectionPDFBibTex

  • List, J.-M., A. Terhalle, and M. Urban (2013): Using network approaches to enhance the analysis of cross-linguistic polysemies. In: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Computational Semantics -- Short Papers. Association for Computational Linguistics 347-353.

    polysemycolexificationconcept networksPDFSUPPLEMENTBibTex

  • Papers from 2012

  • List, J.-M. (2012): Improving phonetic alignment by handling secondary sequence structures. In: Computational approaches to the study of dialectal and typological variation. Working papers submitted for the workshop organized as part of the ESSLLI 2012.

    phonetic alignmentsound classessequence modelingDOIPDFSUPPLEMENTBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2012): LexStat. Automatic detection of cognates in multilingual wordlists. In: Proceedings of the EACL 2012 Joint Workshop of Visualization of Linguistic Patterns and Uncovering Language History from Multilingual Resources. 117-125.

    cognate detectionphonetic alignmentPDFSUPPLEMENTBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2012): SCA. Phonetic alignment based on sound classes. In: Slavkovik, M. and D. Lassiter (eds.): New directions in logic, language, and computation. Springer: Berlin and Heidelberg. 32-51.

    phonetic alignmentsound classesDRAFTSUPPLEMENTURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2012): Multiple sequence alignment in historical linguistics. A sound class based approach. In: Proceedings of ConSOLE XIX. 241-260.

    phonetic alignmentsound classesPDFBibTex

  • Papers from 2011

  • Holman, E., C. Brown, S. Wichmann, A. Müller, V. Velupillai, H. Hammarström, S. Sauppe, H. Jung, D. Bakker, P. Brown, O. Belyaev, M. Urban, R. Mailhammer, J.-M. List, and D. Egorov (2011): Automated dating of the world’s language families based on lexical similarity. Current Anthropology 52.6. 841-875.


  • Nelson-Sathi, S., J.-M. List, H. Geisler, H. Fangerau, R. Gray, W. Martin, and T. Dagan (2011): Networks uncover hidden lexical borrowing in Indo-European language evolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 278.1713. 1794-1803.

    glottochronologyminimal lateral networksphylogenetic networksDOIPDFURLBibTex

  • Papers from 2010

  • Geisler, H. and J.-M. List (2010): Beautiful trees on unstable ground. Notes on the data problem in lexicostatistics. In: Hettrich, H. (ed.): Die Ausbreitung des Indogermanischen. Thesen aus Sprachwissenschaft, Archäologie und Genetik. Reichert: Wiesbaden.

    evaluationlexicostatisticsinter-annotator agreementPDFURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2010): Phonetic alignment based on sound classes. A new method for sequence comparison in historical linguistics. In: Proceedings of the 15th Student Session of the European Summer School for Logic, Language and Information. 192-202.

    sound classesphonetic alignmentPDFBibTex

  • Wichmann, S., E. Holman, A. Müller, V. Velupillai, J.-M. List, O. Belyaev, M. Urban, and D. Bakker (2010): Glottochronology as a heuristic for genealogical language relationships. Journal of Quantitative Linguistics 17.4. 303-316.


  • Papers from 2009

  • List, J.-M. (2009): Sprachvariation im modernen Chinesisch. CHUN -- Chinesischunterricht 24. 123-140.

    language variationChineseDRAFTBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2009): Historische Aspekte der komparativen Methode [Historical aspects of the comparative method]. Working paper.

    comparative methodlinguistic reconstructionhistory of sciencePDF

  • Papers from 2008

  • List, J.-M. (2008): The validity of reconstruction systems. Research Proposal.

    methodologyvaliditylinguistic reconstructionPDF

  • List, J.-M. (2008): The puzzling case of Boshan tone sandhi. Working paper.

    tone sandhiChinese dialectologyPDF

  • List, J.-M. (2008): Resultativkomposita im Chinesischen [Resultative compounds in Chinese]. Summary.

    resultative compoundsChinesePDF

  • List, J.-M. (2008): Rekonstruktion der Aussprache des Mittel- und Altchinesischen. Vergleich der Rekonstruktionsmethoden der indogermanischen und der chinesischen Sprachwissenschaft [Reconstruction of the pronunciation of Middle and Old Chinese. Comparison of reconstruction methods in Indo-European and Chinese linguistics]. Magister thesis. Freie Universität Berlin: Berlin.

    linguistic reconstructionOld ChineseMiddle ChinesePDFBibTex

  • Papers from 2007

  • List, J.-M. (2007): Typology and linguistic reconstruction. Working paper.

    linguistic reconstructiontypologymethodologyPDF

  • List, J.-M. (2007): The derivational character of the Chinese writing system. Working paper.

    Chinese writing systemcharacter formationPDF

  • List, J.-M. (2007): Osnovy rekonstrukcii srednekitajskogo i drevnekitajskogo jazykov [Introduction to the reconstruction of Middle and Old Chinese]. Summary.

    linguistic reconstructionOld ChineseMiddle ChinesePDF

  • List, J.-M. (2007): Cóng Éwén de jiǎodù lái kàn pànduàn dòngcí ”shì” de qǐyuán yǔ yǎnbiàn 从俄文的角度来看判断动词“是”的起源与演变 [Origin and change of the Chinese copula shì from a Russian perspective]. Working paper.

    typologycopulaOld ChinesePDF