Definition of glottochronology in US English:



  • The use of statistical data to date the divergence of languages from their common sources.

    • ‘New methods in glottochronology provide logical and empirical proof that the second assumption is true.’
    • ‘Many of the papers in these volumes show a revival of interest in the much criticised techniques of glottochronology and lexicostatistics.’
    • ‘Despite the outcry, glottochronology is still employed, but in mathematically increasingly complex and conceptually more sophisticated models.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the last published glottochronology for all the Caddoan languages dates to the 1960s, before the technique was refined.’
    • ‘The basic fallacy of glottochronology lies in the fact that it a priori assumes that all languages change at the same rate all the time.’