ISLE Inaugural Workshop 4-5 March 2019

The Evolution of Language: Bridging the natural and cognitive sciences

The Inaugural Workshop of the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language Evolution (ISLE) will last for two full days (4-5 March, 2019). Our program comprises:

  • four keynote addresses
  • six paper sessions
  • a poster session

We have prepared a workshop booklet with a detailed program and general information for the participants.

Download the workshop information booklet (PDF, 2605 KB)


Day Room Time
04.03.2019 KOL-G-217 08h15 - 18h30
05.03.2019 RAA-G-01 08h15 - 18h30


The registration is closed. You can still attend talks on Monday, 4 March. If you wish to do so, please contact our administrative coordinator.

Poster session

The poster session will take place at the Lichthof (ground floor) of building RAA of the University of Zurich on Tuesday, 5 March from 15h45 to 17h00. Anyone interested is welcome to attend the poster session.


Full program (PDF, 126 KB)

Invited speakers

As speakers for the four keynote addresses we are happy to welcome

  • Susan Goldin-Meadow (University of Chicago),
  • Morten Christiansen (Cornell University),
  • Simon Kirby (University of Edinburgh)
  • and Tecumseh Fitch (University of Vienna).
Time Room

Invited speaker




Susan Goldin Meadow

What small data can tell us about the resilience of language that big data can't




Morten Christiansen

Language Acquisition as Skill Learning




Simon Kirby

How cultural evolution and self-domestication created structure in language




Tecumseh Fitch

Workshop format

The paper sessions include two to four 20-minutes presentations and enough time for feedback and discussion. Each session will combine presentations from different disciplinary backgrounds. In addition to the paper sessions, we schedule one poster session.

We would like to ask all presenter to keep in mind that kicking off such an interdisciplinary endeavor will require an extra effort of each participant in making their research accessible to researchers from other disciplines. To enter such a dialogue be aware the participants might not have a background in your field and please avoid any technical jargon.

Social dinner

On Monday evening (March 4, 2019), a workshop dinner will create the opportunity to socialize with the participants.

Location: Restaurant Linde Oberstrass, Zunftsaal (first floor)

Time: 19h30 - 22h00


Organizers: Organizing Committee:
Sabine Stoll Balthasar Bickel
Marta Manser Martin Meyer
  Carel van Schaik
  Simon Townsend
  Klaus Zuberbühler