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While the Ars Technica article is rather superficial, and assumes that the work of several generation of linguists is rather easily overthrown, the research written up is quite interesting:
By treating language features like subject-verb order as a trait, the authors were able to perform this sort of analysis on four different language families: 79 Indo-European languages, 130 Austronesian languages, 66 Bantu languages, and 26 Uto-Aztecan languages. Although we don’t have a complete roster of the languages in those families, they include over 2,400 languages that have been evolving for a minimum of 4,000 years.
The results, according to the article itself: “most observed functional dependencies between traits are lineage-specific rather than universal tendencies.”