"Language phylogenies and cultural evolution"
Simon Greenhill (Australian National University)
"Charles Darwin famously noted that there were many curious parallels between the evolution of species and languages. Since then evolutionary biology and historical linguistics have used trees to conceptualise evolution. However, whilst evolutionary biology developed the vast discipline of phylogenetic methods, linguistics dabbled with computational methods before rejecting them. The last decade or so has seen the introduction of phylogenetic methods into linguistics, often with some startling results. In this talk I will present some of these studies, and discuss how phylogenetics can help us grapple with the problems of linguistic and cultural evolution. These problems range from testing population dispersal hypotheses, to investigating the shape of cultural evolution, to inferring the rates at which languages change.
West Coast USA:14:00 (02:00 PM) on Wednesday, January 16
East Coast USA:17:00 (05:00 PM) on Wednesday, January 16
UK:22:00 (10:00 PM) on Wednesday, January 16
France:23:00 (11:00 PM) on Wednesday, January 16
Japan:07:00 (07:00 AM) on Thursday, January 17
New Zealand:11:00 (11:00 AM) on Thursday, January 17