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Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language Evolution

New ISLE Members

The Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language Evolution (ILSE) wants to warmly welcome our new team members Prof. Dr. Andrea Migliano, Dr. Chundra Cathcart and Dr. Stefan Schnell!


Prof. Dr.Andrea Migliano is a professor in Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Zurich. Her work focusses on comparative behavior of hunter-gatherer populations.  She uses comparative socioecology, network analyses and experimental psychology to understand how  diversity in the hunter-gatherers foraging niche has shaped human specific adaptations such as complex sociality, cumulative culture and pro-sociality.


Dr. Chundra Cathcart is a diachronic linguist whose work has a quantitative and computational bent. The main focus of his work concerns sound changes and morphosyntactic changes. With special interest, he investigates the pressures that interact to shape the synchronic profiles of languages spoken in Central, South and Southeast Asia. Therefore, he uses a range quantitative and computational tools to approach the open questions in the field, including Bayesian models and methods from deep learning, and ongoingly seeks to develop models that are flexible enough to address a wide range of questions of interest to diachronic linguists and linguists more generally.


Dr. Stefan Schnell is a senior researcher in the Distributional Linguistics Lab. The focus of his work lies in the investigation of morphosyntactic variation in diverse languages. He therefore uses quantitative corpus linguistic methods to approach the two main goals in his research. First, a contribution to a better understanding of universal and language-specific aspects of language use and second, elucidating the elucidate the relationship between variation in language use and the distribution of linguistic structures across human languages.

Since 2006 he has been conducting fieldwork on Vanua Lava in North Vanuatu to document and describe the Oceanic language Vera'a which is one of two still actively used languages on the island alongside Vurës. For further information on his work click on the link.