MDS of Karnic data

I’ve been doing more Karnic phylogenetics. Just ofr fun, I ran my splitstree distance matrix through Praat’s Multi-Dimensional Scaler (MDS) function. Here’s the result:

Multidimensional scaled Karnic distance metric.

Multidimensional scaled Karnic distance metric.

Those readers who know their linguistic geography of the Lake Eyre Basin will note that with a few exceptions, this is pretty much exactly the same as the relative locations of these languages in real space.

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5 responses to “MDS of Karnic data

  1. It looks like Pitta-Pitta and Wangkayutyuru are well out of location being way below (south) of where they “should be” geographically. Do you have an explanation for that?

  2. I wondered whether it is better interpreted with geographic north at the bottom of the diagram. Also would be interested to see the 3D solution (and what are the stress values?). Your public wants to know Claire!

  3. Sorry my Public had to wait until after Thanksgiving!

    I’ll answer this in a separate post (with maps and stuff).

  4. David Marjanović

    Well, no. Running a distance matrix is phenetics, not phylogenetics. It is counting differences, not counting shared innovations.

    Sure, when there’s little enough homoplasy* in a dataset, phenetic and phylogenetic methods will output the same tree, but whether there’s little enough homoplasy is part of what you want to test.

    * Convergence, reversals and borrowing.

  5. I *have* been doing more phylogenetic analysis. In addition, I also ran the stuff through an MDSer. I do actually know the difference (See Bowern and Koch 2004:about page 2).
    Even if there’s little homoplasy, shared archaisms will screw things up, as I argue has happened here in one of the other posts.

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