From phonology to phylogeny

Linguistic phylogenies are typically inferred on the basis of lexical cognate relationships (e.g.,Bouckaert et al. 2012, Chang et al. 2015, Sagart et al. 2019). Despite the predominance of thispractice, it suffers from well-known drawbacks. First, it …

A new approach to the diversification of ancient Greek

The diversification of the ancient Greek dialects remains one of the most recalcitrant problems in Greek linguistics. Debates persist over a number of fundamental issues, including the methodology of historical inference, the divergence times of the …

Fossilized birth-death models and the diversification of Latin

Divergence-time estimation in Indo-European

Correlated grammaticalization: The rise of articles in Indo-European

Grammaticalization is characterized by robust directional asymmetries (e.g., Kuteva et al. 2019). For instance, body-part nominals develop into spatial adpositions, minimizers develop into negation markers, and subject pronouns become agreement …

Toward a non-teleological account of demonstrative reinforcement

It has long been debated whether morphosyntactic change is teleological. Jespersen (1917:4), for instance, maintained that emphatic negative constructions are created in response to the weakening of older negative adverbs. Others have argued that …

There’s no escaping phylogenetics

The comparative method depends crucially on the phylogenetic tree of the languages under comparison, but in many linguistic families, including Indo-European, the true tree is unknown. To circumvent this issue, frequency heuristics have been devised …

Correlated Grammaticalization

Indo-European Morphology

Winter 2022

Indo-European Syntax

Spring 2022