Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Eugene E. Loos


This paper presents a method of determining the degree of relatedness of the dialects of a language based on "difference coefficients" which are determined by assigning number values to the degree of feature difference between lexical items on survey word lists. Then a tentative phonological reconstruction of the Proto language from which the dialects are descended was done using 100 utterances on a standard survey word list in each of the ten dialects. The reconstruction is very tentative because of the limited amount of data available in each dialect.

A family tree was prepared using the innovations that various dialects shared in common as they descended from the proto language to their contemporary forma. Then the family tree prepared from the results obtained from the first method - that of determining relatedness by difference coefficient is compared with the, more commonly accepted as reliable, results obtained from the shared innovations.

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