Evolutionary processes in language and culture -
What constrains the variation of language? In this subproject we adopt modern computational methods to answer this question from a broad phylogenetic perspective.
The distribution of individual traits of languages is in part the product of historical contingencies. Some languages leave many descendents, some few. In order to investigate the evolution of individual traits of languages we need to build up a picture of the overall history of the language family.
Kinship - the "basic facts of life" - concerns how human societies structure their family and social relationships. My research programme examines the coevolution of different aspects of cultural kinship norms such as marriage preferences and residence systems, and their embodiment in linguistic systems of kin terminologies.