New Paper and New Preprint

A new paper has just been officially published, after having been officially endorsed by two open reviews. Common work with Abbie Hantgan and Hiba Babiker, this study sheds light on potential contact relations of the language isolate Bangime, spoken in Mali (full paper can be found here).

Bangime is a language isolate spoken among the Dogon, Mande, Atlantic, and Songhai language families in Central-Eastern Mali. Despite Dogon disapproval, the speakers of Bangime, the Bangande, claim an ethnic identity with the Dogon. The Bangande are geographically isolated and current genetic research denoted their genetic disparity. However, here we show evidence of shared vocabulary among the Bangime and neighboring language groups. We investigate the layers of contact using a computer-assisted, multidisciplinary approach in a series of steps. We use lexical automated comparisons taking into account the qualitative and quantitative measures and the correction of the findings. Within archeological and historical contexts from Central-Eastern Mali, our results show that the Bangime language was spoken before the Dogon Expansion in the Escarpment 1400c. AD. This work represents a great mark in computational linguistics for the study of language isolates and the paradox of their history.

Additionally, a new preprint is now available, a review of computational approaches to historical language comparison, which was submitted for the inclusion in the 2nd edition of the Routledge Handbook of Historical Linguistics. The preprint can be found here.