A note on Levenshtein distance versus human analysis

Kamil Stachowski


This paper argues that automatic phonetic comparison will only return true results if the languages in question have similar and comparably lenient phonologies. In the situation where their phonologies are incompatible and / or restrictive, linguistic knowledge of both of them is necessary to obtain results matching human perception. Whilst the case is mainly exemplified by Levenshtein distance and Russian loanwords in Dolgan, the conclusion is also applicable to the approach as a whole.

Słowa kluczowe: Levenshtein distance, loanword adaptation, Dolgan, Russian

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