Previous studies of linguistic areas have often adopted a mainly top-down approach, by first hypothesizing the existence of a linguistic area and then seeking the common linguistic features of that hypothetical area in order to justify its existence. In order to identify linguistic areas in East Asia in a different way, we adopt a mainly bottom-up approach by first investigating the values of the linguistic feature parameters of languages spoken in East Asia and then calculating those values to locate geographical clusters of languages sharing a certain degree of cross-family similarity. Based on 19 phonological features as binary parameters of 52 sample languages of East Asia, we visualize their within-family and cross-family similarities. Many of these similarities confirm the previous theories concerning linguistic areas, such as the Mainland Southeast Asia or the Qinghai-Gansu linguistic area. However, we also demonstrate some similarities that have received less attention thus far, namely between Ryukyuan and southern Sinitic languages.
|Title of host publication||Buckeye East Asian Linguistics 5 (BEAL 5)|
|Editors||Wei William Zhou, John Bundschuh, Mineharu Nakayama, Zhiguo Xie|
|Publisher||Ohio State University Libraries|
|Publication status||Published - Sept 2021|
- Linguistic area
- East Asia