An automated sound correspondence-recognition program developed by the authors is applied to a data set consisting of standardized word lists for over half of the world's languages. Online appendices present the results in a compendium of 692 recurrent sound correspondences that contains information about the frequency of occurrence of each correspondence. Applications of the compendium to historical linguistics are proposed. For example, the catalog of correspondences and frequencies facilitates objective assessment of the commonness or rarity of shared phonological innovations cited as evidence for language-family subgrouping. In another analysis, correspondence frequency is used to measure the degree of similarity between different sounds, yielding models for classifying consonants and vowels that substantially agree with articulatory properties. Correspondence-based similarities are also compared with measurements of sound similarity involving factors such as perceptual confusions, speech errors, and cooccurrence patterns in synchronic phonological rules. Sound similarity discerned from both the perception and production of speech is found to correlate to about the same extent with correspondence-based similarities.*
Language, a journal of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), has appeared continuously since 1925 (4 issues per year). It publishes scholarly articles that report on original research covering the field of linguistics broadly, thus treating topics that include, among others, linguistic theory (phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics); language description; language in its social setting; the history of individual languages; language acquisition; experimentation on language perception, production, and processing; computational modeling of language; and the history of linguistics. Language also publishes research reports, discussion notes, and reviews and, beginning in 2013, has expanded to include digital content in four online-only sections: Perspectives, Phonological Analysis, Language and Public Policy, and Teaching Linguistics. Language also included the LSA Bulletin newsletter as a supplement from 1930 - 1969.
THE LINGUISTIC SOCIETY OF AMERICA (LSA) was founded in 1924 for the advancement of the scientific study of language. The Society serves its nearly 5,000 individual members, institutional subscribers and the larger linguistics community through its scholarly meetings, publications, linguistic institutes, professional development programs, and special activities designed to advance the discipline. An interest in linguistics is the only requirement for membership. The LSA works to educate and inform the broader public about the unique role of human language and the value of linguistic research in understanding that role.