Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


First Advisor

Peter Revesz

Date of this Version

Spring 4-23-2020


Mutabazi, B. & Revesz, P. (2020). " An Algorithm for Building Language SuperFamilies Using Swadesh Lists".


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfilment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Computer Science, Under the Supervision of Professor Peter Revesz. Lincoln, Nebraska: May 2020

Copyright 2020 Bill Jean Claudien Mutabazi


The main contributions of this thesis are the following: i. Developing an algorithm to generate language families and superfamilies given for each input language a Swadesh list represented using the international phonetic alphabet (IPA) notation. ii. The algorithm is novel in using the Levenshtein distance metric on the IPA representation and in the way it measures overall distance between pairs of Swadesh lists. iii. Building a Swadesh list for the author's native Kinyarwanda language because a Swadesh list could not be found even after an extensive search for it.

Adviser: Peter Revesz