High-definition carbon-dating of linguistic pasts (2015–2018)

Abstract:
Carbon dating in archaeology employs the dissipation of isotopes, to date ancient finds. This project harnesses the insights of dissipating information, to discover language histories. It does so by bringing together two, high-definition technologies: powerful, computational statistical engines pioneered in genetics, and an innovative kind of very fine-grained, statistically optimised observations of language structure. Calibrated against traditional and cutting edge linguistic analyses, it offers new insight into how languages reveal history, and how cultural groups speaking the Uralic languages of Eurasia and Australian Aboriginal languages diverged, spread, and interacted, from a distant past to the recent present.
Grant type:
ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award
Researchers:
  • Senior Lecturer
    School of Languages and Cultures
    Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Funded by:
Australian Research Council