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Computer Dating

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:57 am

I had read of computers comparing vocabulary in order to identify the authors, e.g. Marlo v Shakespeare, but this is the first time I've found them used to verify dates of composition. In this article computers verify the Iliad as mid eighth century BCE, but also come to the conclusion that language evolves at a regular pace. I'm not sure what the electronic global village will do to that.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... CY.twitter
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Re: Computer Dating

Postby Slava » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:11 pm

I admit I was thrown for a bit of a loop at first. I saw the subject line and immediately thought, "just what does computer dating have to do with words?" Then I read the post I found out it was about using computers to date language, not to find a date. :oops:
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Re: Computer Dating

Postby gailr » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:36 pm

I thought the same when I was skimming through new posts at lunch, Slava; then I read computers comparing information... Ah, the computers are dating each other. Wait, no they're not. :D
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Re: Computer Dating

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:55 am

Here is yet another example of an attempt to squeeze language development into the same last as biological development. Language and biology are different subjects. What would cause one to think an algorithm designed to explore biological development could make sense out of language development? It seems to me to be the case of, "If the only tool you have is a hammer, every job looks very much like a nail."
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Re: Computer Dating

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:36 pm

In some Biblical studies, for years scholars have been doing word counts to determine relationships between documents. Most commonly, some suspect the later letters of Paul, e.g.
Ephesians and the Pastorals, are by a disciple of his, using his name for authenticity. A major point is that the writer of Ephesians uses a different vocabulary than the writer of Corinthians. Some explain it as a different writer, others as another amanuensis, and still others as addressing a different subject. Since computers got involved, they have made some aspects quicker and easier, but not the conclusions.
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