Research Article Open Access

Can Grammar Define Similarity of Human Natural Languages?

Vladimir Nikolaevich Polyakov1, Ivan Sergeevich Anisimov2 and Elena Andreevna Makarova3
  • 1 NUST, “MISIS”, Moscow, Russia
  • 2 “Yandex”, LLC, Moscow, Russia
  • 3 Institute of Linguistics of RAS, Moscow, Russia


The aim of the present study is to show that similarity of human natural languages can be conveyed not only by phonetic data, but also by grammar. The paper regards the largest typological database WALS and its possibilities in the sphere of genealogic relationship of languages. Using the method of two-objective optimization and data mining, which is new for linguistic studies, we show that grammatical (structural) data, as well as phonetic data, can deliver information on the similarity of languages. Language isolates and micro-families do not have genealogic relatives based on phonetic information, but they do have genealogic relatives based on grammar information.

American Journal of Applied Sciences
Volume 13 No. 10, 2016, 1040-1052


Submitted On: 11 June 2016 Published On: 5 October 2016

How to Cite: Polyakov, V. N., Anisimov, I. S. & Makarova, E. A. (2016). Can Grammar Define Similarity of Human Natural Languages?. American Journal of Applied Sciences, 13(10), 1040-1052.

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  • WALS
  • Two-Objective Optimization
  • Data Mining
  • Language Isolates
  • Micro-Families
  • Similarity
  • Grammar