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Taming the beast of time by Freek Van de Velde


27 november 2023 11:00–13:00




Öppet för allmänheten
While historical studies in linguistics and elsewhere took part in the ‘quantitative turn’ of the past few decades, many studies treat ‘time’ as a regular independent variable, on a par with other explanatory factors. While this may be appropriate under specific circumstances, the approach is not without risks. Time is a weird beast, which cannot easily be tamed by enclosing it within a fence of a regression model covariate. In this seminar, I will look at a few techniques that are specifically tailored to dealing with time: time series analysis and survival analysis. For time series analysis, I will be concerned with a method to infer causation from correlation: Granger causality, in which two diachronic trends are compared to see which is causally prior. For survival analysis, I will show how the technique can be used to predict the longevity of words in a language.