Recent Publications

Olivier Morin and Helena Miton, "Detecting wholesale copying in cultural evolution," Evolution and Human Behavior 39, 392-401 (2018).
Piers Kelly, Simon Kirby, and Kenny Smith, "Contextual predictability shapes signal autonomy," Cognition 176, 15-30 (2018).
Olena Tykhostup and Piers Kelly, "A diachronic comparison of the Vai script of Liberia (1834–2005)," Journal of Open Humanities Data 4, 2 (2018).
Olivier Morin, "Spontaneous emergence of legibility in writing systems: The case of orientation anisotropy," Cognitive Science: A Multidisciplinary Journal 42 (2), 664-677 (2017).
Michael Pleyer, Stefan Hartmann, James Winters, and Jordan Zlatev, "Interaction and iconicity in the evolution of language," Interaction studies 18 (3), 303-313 (2017).
Olivier Morin and Alberto Acerbi, "Birth of the cool: a two-centuries decline in emotional expression in Anglophone fiction," Cognition and Emotion 31 (8), 1663-1675 (2017).
Olivier Mascaro, Olivier Morin, and Dan Sperber, "Optimistic expectations about communication explain children's difficulties in hiding, lying, and mistrusting liars," Journal of Child Language 44 (5), 1041-1064 (2017).
Piers Kelly, "The origins of invented vocabulary in a utopian Philippine language," Asia-Pacific Language Variation 2 (1), 82-120 (2016).
Olivier Morin, "Reasons to be fussy about cultural evolution," Biology and Philosophy 31, 1-12 (2016).
Olivier Morin, "The disunity of cultural group selection," Behavioral and Brain Sciences , e46 (2016).
Piers Kelly, "Excavating a hidden bell story from the Philippines: a revised narrative of cultural-linguistic loss and recuperation," Journal of Folklore Research 53 (2), 86-113 (2016).

Research group leader

<strong><br />Dr. Olivier Morin</strong>

Dr. Olivier Morin


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A second axis of our research on graphic codes outside writing uses information theory to measure the capacity of two graphic codes, heraldic emblems and ancient coinage, to contain and impart information. This potential application of Shannon and Weaver's work was a one-time project of 20th century semioticians, but it could not be realised without large, standardised, well-curated databases. In line with our department's ambition to lead the best practices for the constitution of open, standardised, large cultural datasets, the Mint is assembling a database of over 100 000 European heraldic emblems, in collaboration with Adam Powell (Jena) and Steen Clemmensen (Scandinavian Heraldic Society). Barbara Pavlek, a trained archaeologist doing a PhD in cultural evolution at the Mint, is also working on a synthesis of the extant datasets of ancient Greek coins.

<p><em>Helena Miton, PhD student working on The Mint’s heraldry project.</em></p> Zoom Image

Helena Miton, PhD student working on The Mint’s heraldry project.

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