Director: Prof. (Univ. Auckland) Dr. Russell Gray
Understanding language and culture is fundamental to understanding what it is to be human. The Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution aims to describe and explain patterns of linguistic and cultural regularity and diversity across the globe. We bring anthropologists, computer scientists, evolutionary biologists, linguists and social scientists together to achieve this aim. We tackle these questions by combining a digital ecosystem of linked global linguistic and cultural databases with analyses using evolutionary theories and computational methods. This thoroughly interdisciplinary approach enables us to combine the quantitative rigour of the natural sciences while still utilising the insights that only come from maintaining close contact with the primary linguistic and cultural data.