Accelerating our discovery of the linguistic past

Project Overview

Project

Accelerating our discovery of the linguistic past

Project members:

Prof Erich Round

Period of award

January 2021 - December 2024

Funder:

British Academy

Even closely related languages can exhibit a stunning diversity of morphological complexity, which raises the question: how does this complexity evolve over time, and can we design computational models that would allow us to turn the clock backwards?  This project elaborates an evolutionary theory of inflectional systems, such as verb conjugations and noun declensions. It emphasises interdisciplinary parallels between linguistics and fields such as cultural evolution and seeks to demystify the potential of mathematical modelling for inquiry into the linguistic past.

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