X99Lynx at X99Lynx at
Wed Jan 27 17:40:26 UTC 1999

In a message dated 1/27/99 11:55:41 AM, proto-language at wrote:

<<Predictive power, IMHO, is based on statistics.>>

Predictive power is based on an effective understanding of cause and effect

Statistics are just one way to prove that understanding is correct.  Without a
proper hypothesis, whether gathered statistically or not, there is nothing for
statistics to help prove.  A lingusitic model is a hypothesis, properly used a
statistical sample can help prove if that model is accurate.

However, where there are few occurences to sample and possibly no new
occurences - as in ancient languages - statistical analyses do not carry much
"predictative power".

Also recall if you will that I posted on this list the fact that the Peresus
Project showed a higher occuresnce of purus>red in Greek than ereuthem>red.
This was due to the way Lidell-Scott defined red.  Statistics can only yield
results that fact gathering and prior analysis permit.

Steve Long

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