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Language and Sex: Why one thing leads to another. Talk at Occam's Beard Symposium, at the Discovery science festival, Amsterdam 2014.

Taal in de reageerbuis.  Interactive public engagement project, Amsterdam and Utrecht, September 2013 and Nacht van Kunst & Kennis, Leiden, 2014. More

There will be no miracles here. Entry to public exhibition "Taal in Beeld" on Linguistic Research, Nijmegen Central Library, October 2013More

Gene-culture coevolution of a linguistic system in two modalities.  Invited talk, Minerva-Gentner Symposium on Emergent Languages and Cultural Evolution, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, June 2013.

The role of cultural transmission, cognitive biases and population structure in linguistic universals.  Invited talk, Origins of Language, University of Utrecht.  7 May, 2013.

The co-evolution of language structure and social structure. Institute of Linguistics, University of Tübingen. 7 May, 2012.

Spurious correlations in linguistics. EU:Sci podcast, 4 May, 2012. podcast. extended podcast. blog post.

The death of language: Why evolutionary linguists shouldn't study langauge. Soap Vox Lecture Series, Linguistics and English Language Society, University of Edinburgh. 5th October 2011. video.

Cultural Evolution and the impending signularity. Santa Fe Complex Systems Summer School, 2010. video

Blogging about Research, University of Edinburgh's Innovative Learning Week. discussed here, more details

Conference Proceedings


  • Thompson, B., Roberts, S. & Smith, K. (2013) Social interaction influences the evolution of cognitive biases for language. Proceedings of the Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference (AMLaP), September, 2013.
  • Roberts, S. (2013) Evolutionary approaches to Bilingualism. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Bilingualism, June, 2013.


  • Littauer, R.,, Winters, J., Roberts, S., Little, H, Pleyer, M. and Benzon, B. (2012) Academic Research in the Blogosphere: Adapting to New Risks and Opportunities on the Internet. In: Jan Christoph Meister (Ed.): Digital Humanities 2012. Conference Abstracts. University of Hamburg, July 16-22. Hamburg: Hamburg University Press, 268-269. pdf
  • Roberts, S. (2012) There’s no such thing as language: Arguments against the evolution of a bilingual faculty. University of Edinburgh Linguistics and English Language Conference 2012. abstract video
  • Roberts, S. (2012) An evolutionary approach to bilingualism. Proceedings of the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association Annual Meeting 2012, Durham. poster supplementary material
  • Roberts, S. (2012) A bottom-up approach to Language Evolution. In T. C. Scott-Phillips, M. Tamariz, E.A. Cartmill & J.R. Hurford, The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference (EVOLANG9). World Scientific. p.523 abstract poster supplementary material
  • Tamariz, M., Cornish, H., Roberts, S. & Kirby, S. (2012) The effect of generation turnover and interlocutor negotiation on linguistic structure. In T. C. Scott-Phillips, M. Tamariz, E.A. Cartmill & J.R. Hurford, The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference (EVOLANG9). World Scientific. p. 555
  • Roberts, S. & Winters, J. (2012) Constructing Knowledge: Nomothetic approaches to language evolution. In L. McCrohon, T. Fujimura, K. Fujita, R. Martin, K. Okanoya, R. Suzuki, N. Yusa, Five Approaches to Language Evolution: Proceedings of the Workshops of the 9th International Conference on the Evolution of Language. Evolang9 Organizing Committee. pdf
  • Winters, J. & Roberts, S. (2012) Proving anything is possible in the dataverse: Limitations of the nomothetic approach to social science. Digital Scholarship: a day of ideas, Digital HSS, University of Edinburgh.more details poster


  • Roberts, S. (2011) Developing mutual exclusivity in the lab. Proceedings of the 7th Workshop on Bilingualism: Neurolinguistic and Psycholinguistic Perspectives, Aix-en-Provence, 2011. pdf
  • Roberts, S. (2011) Language Evolution and the Acacia Tree.  Speculative Grammarian, CLXII, 4. Online here
  • Roberts, S. (2011) The development of mutual exclusivity.  Proceedings of the 10th Psycholinguistics in Flanders workshop, Antwerp, 2011. pdf


  • Roberts, S. (2010). Language and Memory: Why Siestas affect Morphology.  Language at Edinburgh Lunch, 2010. pdf
  • Roberts, S. (2010). The Evolution of Bilingualism.   Proceedings of the 2010 LEL Postgraduate conference, University of Edinburgh. video!
  • Roberts, S. (2010). Mutual Exclusivity in the Naming Game.  Language at Edinburgh Lunch, 2010. pdf
  • Roberts, S. (2010). Second Language Acquisition and Social Co-ordination.  Proceedings of the Language as Social Coordination: An Evolutionary Perspective, Warsaw, Poland.
  • Scott-Phillips, T. C., Hurford, J. R., Roberts, G. and Roberts, S., (2010). Pragmatics not semantics as the basis for clause structure, in A. D. M. Smith, K. Smith, B. de Boer and M. Schouwstra (eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on the Evolution of Language, Singapore: World Scientific, p.491-492


  • Roberts, S. (2009). Welsh mutation and lexical dispersion. Proceedings of the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association Confrence, 2009. pdf
  • Roberts, S. (2009). Word Complexity Predicts Rates of Lexical Evolution.  Language at Edinburgh Lunch, 2009. pdf

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