Macro-comparative linguistics in the 21st century: state of the art and perspectives
The paper represents an attempt to explicitly summarize most of the major theoretical and methodological problems that, as of today, hinder significant progress in the field of macrocomparative linguistics (research on distant relationships between the various language families of the world). Among these problems are such issues as: the amount, quality, and nature of linguistic data that is necessary to establish long-distance relationship; methodological priorities of the etymologization process; and the complex interdependencies of “objective” (automated) and “subjective” (manual) data comparison. Partial solutions and/or recommendations of a general character are offered for each of the specified issues.
Comparative linguistics, long-range comparison, language macrofamilies, computational methods in linguistics