Palaeo Discussion Group - Dr Catherine Sheard, University of Bristol - Title: Phylogenetic comparative methods and language macroevolution: 6,000 years of cultural change in non-WEIRD societies.

22 November 2019, 1.00 PM - 22 November 2019, 2.00 PM

Dr Catherine Sheard, University of Bristol

Room G25, Reynolds Lecture Theatre, School of Earth Sciences, Wills Memorial Building

We are pleased to welcome Dr Catherine Sheard from the University of Bristol, who will be leading the Palaeo Discussion Group. 

Title: Phylogenetic comparative methods and language macroevolution: 6,000 years of cultural change in non-WEIRD societies.

Abstract:

Studies performed on WEIRD populations (Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich, and Democratic) form the bulk of the social science literature, including language research. But do these results universally apply? Here I’ll present macroevolutionary studies of language change in Pama-Nyungan, a large radiation of Australian hunter-gatherer societies, by focusing on ‘kinship’, or linguistic and cultural norms surrounding family members. More generally, I’ll discuss how modern phylogenetic comparative methods, together with collaborations between evolutionary biologists and social scientists, can shed new light on fundamental questions in human cultural evolution.

All staff and students welcome.

Contact information

For further information please contact Dr Andy Fraass.

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