Our research

Ongoing research at the CLE is extremely diverse, ranging from explorations of the emergence of sign language, to modeling the typical trajectory of language change. Much of our work involves the use of experimental and computational methods to explore central questions surrounding the origins and evolution of human language. We take a broad, interdisciplinary approach, blurring the boundaries between evolutionary linguistics and the cognitive sciences.

You can read papers from our lab on our publications page, but here are some videos giving accessible introductions to various aspects of our work:

Current active research topics include (but are not limited to): iterated learning; innateness and learning biases; the interaction between cultural and biological evolution; language universals and Universal Grammar; the emergence of meaning through environmental interaction and inference; sign-language emergence; the origins of semantic representations; evolutionary approaches to phonological theory; adaptive structure in the lexicon; vocal communication and cultural transmission in other animals; evolution of music and visual art.

We have also developed some software for carrying out video-based experiments which you can download here.