Dr. Simon J. Greenhill
Roberts, S. G., Killin, A., Deb, A., Sheard, C., Greenhill, S. J., Sinnemäki, K., … Jordan, F. (2020). CHIELD: the causal hypotheses in evolutionary linguistics database. The Journal of Language Evolution. https://doi.org/10.1093/jole/lzaa001.
Abstract PDF 10.1093/jole/lzaa001 Overview
Language is one of the most complex of human traits. There are many hypotheses about how it originated, what factors shaped its diversity, and what ongoing processes drive how it changes. We present the Causal Hypotheses in Evolutionary Linguistics Database (CHIELD, https://chield.excd.org/), a tool for expressing, exploring, and evaluating hypotheses. It allows researchers to integrate multiple …
Shcherbakova O, Skirgård H, & Greenhill SJ. 2020.Phylogenetic exploration of language complexity in Austronesian, Bantu, and Indo-European Language Families. Pp. 411-413, In Ravignani A, Barbieri C, Flaherty M, Jadoul Y, Lattenkamp E, Little H, Martins M, Mudd K, & Verhoef T (Eds). The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference (Evolang13). Nijmegen: The Evolution of Language Conferences.
Rzymski, Christoph, Tiago Tresoldi, Simon J. Greenhill, Mei-Shin Wu, Nathanael E. Schweikhard, Maria Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Volker Gast, et al. 2020. The Database of Cross-Linguistic Colexifications, Reproducible Analysis of Cross-Linguistic Polysemies. Scientific Data 7 (1): 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-019-0341-x.
Abstract PDF 10.1038/s41597-019-0341-x Overview
Advances in computer-assisted linguistic research have been greatly influential in reshaping linguistic research. With the increasing availability of interconnected datasets created and curated by researchers, more and more interwoven questions can now be investigated. Such advances, however, are bringing high requirements in terms of rigorousness for preparing and curating datasets. Here we …
Jackson JC, Watts J, Henry TR, List JM, Forkel R, Mucha PJ, Greenhill SJ, Gray RD, & Lindquist KA. 2019 Emotion semantics show both cultural variation and universal structure. Science, 366, 1517-1522.
Abstract PDF 10.1126/science.aaw8160 Overview
It is unclear whether emotion terms have the same meaning across cultures. Jackson et al. examined nearly 2500 languages to determine the degree of similarity in linguistic networks of 24 emotion terms across cultures (see the Perspective by Majid). There were low levels of similarity, and thus high variability, in the meaning of emotion terms across cultures. Similarity of emotion terms could be …
Sagart L, Jacques G, Lai Y, Ryder RJ, Thouzeau V, Greenhill SJ, List J- M. 2019 Dated language phylogenies shed light on the ancestry of Sino-Tibetan. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201817972.
Abstract PDF 10.1073/pnas.1817972116 Overview
Given its size and geographical extension, Sino-Tibetan is of the highest importance for understanding the prehistory of East Asia, and of neighboring language families. Based on a dataset of 50 Sino-Tibetan languages, we infer phylogenies that date the origin of the language family to around 7200 B.P., linking the origin of the language family with the late Cishan and the early Yangshao …
Glottobank is an international research consortium established to document and understand the world’s linguistic diversity. We have established five global databases documenting variation in language structure (Grambank), lexicon (Lexibank), paradigm systems (Parabank), numerals (Numeralbank), and phonetic changes (Phonobank).
From the foods we eat, to who we can marry, to the types of games we teach our children, the diversity of cultural practices in the world is astounding. Yet, our ability to visualize and understand this diversity is often limited by the ways it traditionally has been documented and shared: on a culture-by-culture basis, in locally-told stories or difficult-to-access books and articles. D-PLACE represents an attempt to bring together this dispersed corpus of information.
TransNewGuinea.org is a database of the Trans-New Guinea language family and friends. The Trans-New Guinea language family currently occupies most of the interior of New Guinea. This family is possibly the third largest in the world with 400 languages and is tentatively thought to have originated with root-crop agriculture around 10,000 years ago. However, vanishingly little is known about this family’s history.
The Polynesian Lexicon Project Online is a large-scale comparative dictionary of Polynesian languages.
The Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database is the world’s largest cross-linguistic database of the Pacific. It contains ~300,000 lexical items from ~1,600 languages spoken throughout the Pacific region.