Preprints (not peer-reviewed)

  • Wu, M.-S. and J.-M. List (2021): Annotating cognates in phylogenetic studies of South-East Asian languages. Humanities Commons 0.0. 1-31. [Preprint, under review, not peer-reviewed]

    phylogenetic reconstructionChinese dialectscognate annotationDRAFTBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2021): Chances and challenges for quantitative approaches in Chinese Historical Phonology. Humanities Commons 0.0. 1-19. [Preprint, under review, not peer-reviewed]

    Chinese historical linguisticsChinese Historical PhonologyoverviewDRAFTBibTex

  • Hantgan, A., H. Babiker, and J.-M. List (2020): First steps towards the detection of contact layers in Bangime: A multi-disciplinary, computer-assisted approach. Humanities Commons 0.0. 1-27. [Preprint, under review, not peer-reviewed]

    Bangimeborrowing detectionlanguage contactDRAFTBibTex

  • Jäger, G. and J.-M. List (2016): Statistical and computational elaborations of the classical comparative method. Manuscript . 1-17. [Preprint, under review, not peer-reviewed]

    overviewcomputational methodscomparative methodDRAFTBibTex

  • Forthcoming papers

  • Tjuka, A., R. Forkel, and J.-M. List (forthcoming): Linking norms, ratings, and relations of words and concepts across multiple language varieties. Behavior Research Methods 0.0. 1-24.

    psychologycross-linguistic databasenorm dataDRAFTBibTex

  • Jackson, J., J. Watts, J.-M. List, C. Puryear, R. Drabble, and K. Lindquist (forthcoming): From text to thought: How analyzing language can advance psychological science. Perspectives on Psychological Science 0.0. 1-46.

    psychologycomparative linguisticslanguage analysisDOIDRAFTBibTex

  • Geisler, H., R. Forkel, and J.-M. List (forthcoming): A digital, retro-standardized edition of the Tableaux Phonétiques des Patois Suisses Romands (TPPSR). In: Avanzi, M., N. LoVecchio, A. Millour, and A. Thibault (eds.): Nouveaux regards sur la variation dialectale. Éditions de Linguistique et de Philologie: Strasbourg. 1-21.

    TPPSRdialect atlascross-linguistic data formatsDRAFTURLBibTex

  • Schweikhard, N. and J.-M. List (forthcoming): Modeling word trees in historical linguistics. Preliminary ideas for the reconciliation of word trees and language trees. In: Sprach(en)forschung: Disziplinen und Interdisziplinarität. Akten der 27. Fachtagung der Gesellschaft für Sprache und Sprachen. 1-20.

    computational historical linguisticsdata managementmorphologyDRAFTBibTex

  • Hantgan, A. and J.-M. List (forthcoming): Bangime: Secret language, language isolate, or language island?. Journal of Language Contact 0.0. 1-27.

    BangimeDogonborrowing detectionDRAFTBibTex

  • Papers from 2021

  • Evans, C., S. Greenhill, J. Watts, J.-M. List, C. Botero, R. Gray, and K. Kirby (2021): The uses and abuses of tree thinking in cultural evolution. Philosophical Transcactions of the Royal Society B 376.20200056. 1-12.

    cultural evolutionreviewphylogenetic treesDOIBibTex

  • Bodt, T. and J.-M. List (2021): Reflex prediction. A case study of Western Kho-Bwa. Diachronica 0.0. 1-38.

    reflex predictionpreregistered studyWestern Kho-BwaCODEDOIDRAFTBibTex

  • List, J.-M., N. Sims, and R. Forkel (2021): Towards a sustainable handling of interlinear-glossed text in language documentation. ACM Transactions on Asian and Low-Resource Language Information Processing 20.2. 1-15.

    retro-standardizationinter-linear-glossed textannotationDOIDRAFTBibTex

  • Papers from 2020

  • Miller, J., T. Tresoldi, R. Zariquiey, C. Beltrán Castañón, N. Morozova, and J.-M. List (2020): Using lexical language models to detect borrowings in monolingual wordlists. PLOS One 15.12. e0242709.

    borrowing detectionMarkov modelRecurrent Neural NetworkCODEDOIDRAFTURLBibTex

  • Schweikhard, N. and J.-M. List (2020): Developing an annotation framework for word formation processes in comparative linguistics. SKASE Journal of Theoretical Linguistics 17.1. 2-26.

    word formationannotationcomparative linguisticsDRAFTPDFURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2020): Improving data handling and analysis in the study of rhyme patterns. Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale 49.1. 43-57.

    rhyme networkrhyme analysisdata handlingDOIDRAFTSUPPLEMENTBibTex

  • Bodt, T. and J.-M. List (2020): The multiple benefits of making predictions in linguistics. Babel: The Language Magazine 31.2. 8-12.

    predictionsound changecomputer-assisted language comparisonDRAFTURLBibTex

  • Wu, M.-S., N. Schweikhard, T. Bodt, N. Hill, and J.-M. List (2020): Computer-Assisted Language Comparison. State of the Art. Journal of Open Humanities Data 6.2. 1-14.

    computer-assisted language comparisonworkflowsHmong-MienCODEDOIDRAFTBibTex

  • Forkel, R. and J.-M. List (2020): CLDFBench. Give your Cross-Linguistic data a lift. In: Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation. 6997-7004.

    data managmentcross-linguistic datasetsCLDFCODEDRAFTURLBibTex

  • Power, J., G. Grimm, and J.-M. List (2020): Evolutionary dynamics in the dispersal of sign languages. Royal Society Open Science 7.1. 1-30.

    sign languagephylogenetic reconstructionphylogenetic networksDOIDRAFTPDFSUPPLEMENTBibTex

  • Rzymski, C., T. Tresoldi, S. Greenhill, M. Wu, N. Schweikhard, M. Koptjevskaja-Tamm, V. Gast, T. Bodt, A. Hantgan, G. Kaiping, S. Chang, Y. Lai, N. Morozova, H. Arjava, N. Hübler, E. Koile, S. Pepper, M. Proos, B. Epps, I. Blanco, C. Hundt, S. Monakhov, K. Pianykh, S. Ramesh, R. Gray, R. Forkel, and J.-M. List (2020): The Database of Cross-Linguistic Colexifications, reproducible analysis of cross- linguistic polysemies. Scientific Data 7.13. 1-12.


  • Papers from 2019

  • Hill, N. and J.-M. List (2019): Using Chinese character formation graphs to test proposals in Chinese historical phonology. Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics 12.2. 186-200.

    network approachescharacter formationOld Chinese phonologyCODEDOIBibTex

  • Jackson, J., J. Watts, T. Henry, J.-M. List, P. Mucha, R. Forkel, S. Greenhill, R. Gray, and K. Lindquist (2019): Emotion semantics show both cultural variation and universal structure. Science 366.6472. 1517-1522.


  • List, J.-M. (2019): Beyond Edit Distances: Comparing linguistic reconstruction systems. Theoretical Linguistics 45.3-4. 1-10.

    linguistic reconstructioncomputational historical linguisticsevaluationCODEDOIDRAFTURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2019): Automated methods for the investigation of language contact situations, with a focus on lexical borrowing. Language and Linguistics Compass 13.e12355. 1-16.

    overviewborrowing detectionphylogenetic networksDOIDRAFTSUPPLEMENTBibTex

  • List, J.-M., N. Hill, and C. Foster (2019): Towards a standardized annotation of rhyme judgments in Chinese historical phonology (and beyond). Journal of Language Relationship 17.1. 26-43.

    rhymeOld ChineseannotationCODEDOIPDFBibTex

  • List, J.-M., Y. Lai, and G. Starostin (2019): Old Chinese and Friends: new approaches to historical linguistics of the Sino-Tibetan area. Journal of Language Relationship 17.1. 1-6.

    historical linguisticsSino-Tibetancomputer-assisted language comparisonDOIPDFBibTex

  • Rama, T. and J.-M. List (2019): An automated framework for fast cognate detection and Bayesian phylogenetic inference in computational historical linguistics. In: 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics. 6225–6235.

    cognate detectionphylogenetic inferenceoptimizationCODEDOIPDFURLBibTex

  • Jacques, G. and J.-M. List (2019): Save the trees: Why we need tree models in linguistic reconstruction (and when we should apply them). Journal of Historical Linguistics 9.1. 128-166.

    family treewave theorymethodologyDOIDRAFTPDFBibTex

  • Bodt, T. and J.-M. List (2019): Testing the predictive strength of the comparative method: An ongoing experiment on unattested words in Western Kho-Bwa languages. Papers in Historical Phonology 4.1. 22-44.

    Kho-Bwa languagescorrespondence patternspredictionCODEDOIPDFSUPPLEMENTURLBibTex

  • Sagart, L., G. Jacques, Y. Lai, R. Ryder, V. Thouzeau, S. Greenhill, and J.-M. List (2019): Dated language phylogenies shed light on the ancestry of Sino-Tibetan. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America 116. 10317-10322.

    computer-assisted language comparisonSino-Tibetan originphylogenetic studyCODEDOIPDFSUPPLEMENTURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2019): Automatic inference of sound correspondence patterns across multiple languages. Computational Linguistics 45.1. 137-161.

    correspondence patternssound correspondencesautomatic sequence comparisonCODEDOIPDFURLBibTex

  • Papers from 2018

  • Anderson, C., T. Tresoldi, T. Chacon, A.-M. Fehn, M. Walworth, R. Forkel, and J.-M. List (2018): A Cross-Linguistic Database of Phonetic Transcription Systems. Yearbook of the Poznań Linguistic Meeting 4.1. 21-53.

    phonetic transcription systemscross-linguistic databasesoftware APICODEDOIPDFURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2018): Towards a history of concept list compilation in historical linguistics. History and Philosophy of the Language Sciences 5.10. 1-14.

    history of linguisticsSwadesh listconcept listDOIURLBibTex

  • Forkel, R., J.-M. List, S. Greenhill, C. Rzymski, S. Bank, M. Cysouw, H. Hammarström, M. Haspelmath, G. Kaiping, and R. Gray (2018): Cross-Linguistic Data Formats, advancing data sharing and re-use in comparative linguistics. Scientific Data 5.180205. 1-10.

    cross-linguistic data formatsstandardizationreproducibilityDOIPDFURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M., S. Greenhill, C. Anderson, T. Mayer, T. Tresoldi, and R. Forkel (2018): CLICS². An improved database of cross-linguistic colexifications assembling lexical data with help of cross-linguistic data formats. Linguistic Typology 22.2. 277-306.

    computer-assisted language comparisonreference catalogcolexificationDOIPDFURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M., M. Walworth, S. Greenhill, T. Tresoldi, and R. Forkel (2018): Sequence comparison in computational historical linguistics. Journal of Language Evolution 3.2. 130–144.

    computational historical linguisticstutorialsequence comparisonCODEDOISUPPLEMENTURLBibTex

  • Jäger, G. and J.-M. List (2018): Using ancestral state reconstruction methods for onomasiological reconstruction in multilingual word lists. Language Dynamics and Change 8.1. 22-54.

    ancestral state reconstructionmaximum likelihoodsemantic reconstructionDOIPDFSUPPLEMENTBibTex

  • Rama, T., J.-M. List, J. Wahle, and G. Jäger (2018): Are automatic methods for cognate detection good enough for phylogenetic reconstruction in historical linguistics?. In: Proceedings of the North American Chapter of the Association of Computational Linguistics. 393-400.

    phylogenetic reconstructionautomatic cognate detectionevaluationCODEDRAFTPDFSUPPLEMENTURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2018): Ho well do automatic methods for language comparison work?. Latest Thinking 4.3. LTPUB10576.

    interviewcognate detectionevaluationDOIURLBibTex

  • List, J.-M. (2018): More on Network Approaches in Historical Chinese Phonology (音韵学). In: The 2nd Li Fang-Kuei Society Young Scholars Symposium. 157-174.

    network approachesHistorical Chinese PhonologyChinese character formationCODEDRAFTPDFSUPPLEMENTURLBibTex

  • 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): [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 standardCODEDOIPDFSUPPLEMENTBibTex

  • 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. Brill Online: Leiden and Boston. 672-675.


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

    Chinese dialectologyhistorical linguisticsoverviewDOIDRAFTURLBibTex

  • Papers from 2016

  • List, J.-M. (2016): Using network models to analyze Old Chinese rhyme data. Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics 9.2. 218-241.

    Old Chinese reconstructionnetwork approachrhyme evidenceCODEDEMODOIPDFBibTex

  • 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., 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 changeCODEDEMODOIURLBibTex

  • 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 dataCODEPDFBibTex

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

    Chinese dialectologyphylogenetic networksancestral state reconstructionCODEPDFURLBibTex

  • 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 sizeCODEDOIPDFBibTex

  • 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 networksCODEDOIPDFSUPPLEMENTURLBibTex

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 alignmentPDFBibTex

  • 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 classesDOISUPPLEMENTURLBibTex

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

    phonetic alignmentsound classesURLBibTex

  • 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 worldś 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

  • 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

  • Papers from 2008

  • 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