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Hedvig Skirgård

Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

e-mail: hedvig_skirgard@eva.mpg.de

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About me
Curriculum Vitae
Publications and Presentations

About me

I’m a linguist working on language diversification and change. I’m interested language variation at a macro-scale, and I’m currently working on these topics in languages of Oceania. I use computational methods, such as ancestral state reconstruction and statistical modelling to predict the grammar of proto-languages and to better understand what it is that causes languages to split. I’m also project coordinator for the Grambank project - a database of grammatical features with over 2,000 languages. In my spare time, I’m interested in maps of the Pacific and I co-host a podcast about languages and linguistics called “Because Language”. 

Curriculum Vitae

2020 - presentPostdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig.
2015 - 2021PhD - Linguistics. Australian National University. Thesis topic: Language diversification in Remote Oceania.
2019 - presentProject coordinator for the Grambank project at the Department for Linguistic and Cultural Evolution at the Max Planck for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig.
2013 - 2014Student assistant in typological database project at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen.
2011 - 2013Masters of Arts - Linguistics. Stockholm University. Thesis topic: Corpus study of a West-African French-lexified Pidgin (Français Tirailleur).
2010 - 2011Pre-school teacher. Katarina Södra Skola, Stockholm.
2008 - 2010Primary school student assistant and substitute primary school teacher. Katarina Södra Skola, Stockholm.
2007 - 2011Bachelor in Arts - General Linguistics. Stockholm University. Thesis topic: Corpus study of double negation in Swedish dialects.


My full and frequently updated CV can be found here.

Publications & Presentations

Skirgard, H. (2021). Multilevel dynamics of language diversity and disparity in Oceania. PhD Thesis, Australian National University, Canberra.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Skirgard, H., Roberts, S. G., & Yencken, L. (2017). Why are some languages confused for others? Investigating data from the Great Language Game. PLoS One, 12(4): e0165934.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

2021

Skirgard, H. (2021). Multilevel dynamics of language diversity and disparity in Oceania. PhD Thesis, Australian National University, Canberra.
BibTeX   Endnote   

2020

Shcherbakova, O., Skirgard, H., & Greenhill, S. J. (2020). Phylogenetic exploration of language complexity in Austronesian, Bantu and Indoeuropean language families. In A. Ravignani, C. Barbieri, M. Flaherty, Y. Jadoul, E. Lattenkamp, H. Little, K. Mudd, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The evolution of language: proceedings of the 13th International Conference (Evolang 13) (pp. 411-413). Nijmegen: The Evolution of Language Conferences.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Roberts, S. G., Killin, A., Deb, A., Sheard, C., Greenhill, S. J., Sinnemäki, K., Segovia-Martín, J., Nölle, J., Berdicevskis, A., Humphreys-Balkwill, A., Little, H., Opie, C., Jacques, G., Bromham, L., Tinits, P., Ross, R. M., Lee, S., Gasser, E., Calladine, J., Spike, M., Mann, S. F., Shcherbakova, O., Singer, R., Zhang, S., Benítez-Burraco, A., Kliesch, C., Thomas-Colquhoun, E., Skirgard, H., Tamariz, M., Passmore, S., Pellard, T., & Jordan, F. (2020). CHIELD: the causal hypotheses in evolutionary linguistics database. Journal of Language Evolution, 5(2), 101-120.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

2017

Skirgard, H., Roberts, S. G., & Yencken, L. (2017). Why are some languages confused for others? Investigating data from the Great Language Game. PLoS One, 12(4): e0165934.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

2016

Skirgard, H. (2016). Variation – where does it come from? A corpus to investigate variation in Samoan. In Measina a Sāmoa: E sui faiga, ae tumau faavae. Papers presented at the Measina a Sāmoa Conference 15 –17 November 2016 National University of Sāmoa, Le Papaigalagala. (pp. 257-284).
BibTeX   Endnote   

2013

Skirgard, H. (2013). Français Tirailleur Pidgin: A corpus study. Master Thesis, Stockholm University.
BibTeX   Endnote   

2010

Skirgard, H. (2010). Finns det dubbelnegation i svenska dialekter?: -inte..e i två Hälsingemål. Bachelor Thesis, Stockholm University.
BibTeX   Endnote   

2021

Skirgard, H. (2021). Reconstructing Oceanic grammar. Talk presented at 15th International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics. Olomouc, Czech Republic. 2021-06-28 - 2021-07-01.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Verkerk, A., Haynie, H., Gray, R. D., Greenhill, S., Shcherbakova, O., & Skirgard, H. (2021). Testing Greenberg’s universals on a global scale. Talk presented at 43. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft. Freiburg (Online). 2021-02-23 - 2021-02-26.
BibTeX   Endnote   

2020

Skirgård, H. (2020). Non-linguistic factors predicting language diversification in large scale comparisons. Presentation at “Building Bridges Between Typology, Sociolinguistics, and Contact Linguistics: Concepts, Methods, and Challenges of Developing a “Sociolinguistic Typology”” Workshop at the Conference of the Australian Linguistic Society (ALS).

2019

Skirgård, H. (2019). Language Diversification in Remote Oceania. Final Oral Presentation at the linguistics seminar series at the Australian National University, Canberra 

Evans, Haynie, Skirgård & Greenhill (2019). Inferring the stability of grammatical structures in major language families. Presentation at the International Conference on Historical Linguistic, Canberra 

2018

Kalyan & Skirgård (2018). Diversification inAustronesian languages: Are lexicon and grammar affected differently? Presentation at the conference for New Ways of Analyzing Variation - Asia-Pacific, Brisbane

2017

Skirgård & Haynie (2017). Practical considerations for using data from several typological databases. Presentation at the workshop “Design principles and comparisons of typological databases” at the Biennial Meeting of the Association for Linguistic Typology, Canberra 

2016

Skirgård, H. (2016). Variation – where does it come from? a corpus to investigate variation in Samoan. Presentation at the Measina conference on Samoan language and culture at the National University of Samoa 

2015

Skirgård, Roberts & Yencken (2015). Crowdsourcing lin- guistic judgements - What can we learn from the Great Language Game? Presentation at Scale-Up Workshop at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Language Dynamics, Canberra 

Hammarström, H., Levinson, S. C., Skirgård, H., & Nijmegen, M. P. I.  (2015). Simple Correlated Evolution of Typological. Presentation at Causality in the language sciences workshop at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

2014

Skirgård, H. (2014).Corpus studies of Pidgins - the case of West African Français Tirailleur Pidgin. Presentation at seminar series at the CCGT-group at the University of Antwerpen. Antwerpen, Belgium 

2013

Skirgård, H. (2013). What is non-emphatic Double Negation? - the case of Swedish. Presentation at the workshop “Negation: Meillet’s spiral (Jespersen’s cycle) and beyond.” at the 46th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea. Split, Croatia