News 2018

Historical Linguistics Workshop
DLCE Workshop
Date: Dec. 7, 2018
Room: Villa V14
Host: Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution more
Dogs know when they don’t know
When they don’t have enough information to make an accurate decision, dogs will search for more – similarly to chimpanzees and humans. more
Guidelines for a standardized data format for use in cross-linguistic studies
The Cross-Linguistic Data Formats Initiative proposes new standards for linguistic data formats to facilitate sharing and data comparisons. more
Distinguished Lecture by Stephen Shennan: "The First Farmers of Europe: An Evolutionary Perspective"
Date & Time: Oct 10, 2018, 15:00
Speaker: Stephen Shennan
Room: Villa V14
Host: Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution more
Transeurasian millets and beans, language and genes
Registration is open for Transeurasian Conference 2019!
Interdisciplinary conference in "Tandem style".
Jan. 8-11, 2019, at the MPI-SHH. Hosted by eurasia3angle. more
Disentangling the relationships between cultural traits and other variables
Researchers provide guidelines for differentiating between causation and mere correlation in cross-cultural studies. more
Structure of Transeurasian language family revealed by computational linguistic methods
Researchers applied Bayesian phylolinguistic methods to the Transeurasian language family for the first time to address the long-standing debate about its internal structure. more
Natalie Uomini awarded Templeton World Charity Foundation grant
Her project, entitled ‘Teaching in New Caledonian Crows’, will examine the factors that influence the evolution of teaching. more
How do religious ideologies spread?
Over the last 2000 years Christianity has grown from a tiny religious sect to the largest family of religions in the world. How did Christianity become so successful? Did Christianity spread through grass-roots movements or political elites? And what can the spread of Christianity tell us about how widespread social change happens? more
Crows can make tools from memory

Crows can make tools from memory

New Caledonian crows can recreate tools from memory according to a study published today in Scientific Reports. Mental template matching is a potential cultural transmission...(Scientific Reports - open access)
Mental Template Matching in New Caledonian Crows (YouTube-Video)
Crows Learn More About Toolmaking (New York Times, June 28)
Crow vending machine skills 'redefine intelligence' (BBC, June 29)
Visit of young international diplomats on June 6th
The Federal Foreign Office's Foreign Service Academy brings together young diplomats from around the world in its 9th International Diplomat Programme. The aim of this training initiative is to perceive foreign policy as an opportunity for cooperation and as a basis upon which to build the foundation for a working partnership on global matters. The programme offers a broad selection of seminars, informative visits and study tours, such as a visit at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. more
Historical and comparative linguistics in Jena
Joint Workshop Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution& Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Date: July 13, 2018
Room: Villa V14
Hosts: Martine Robeets & Volker Gast more
New clues to the origins of agriculture
The invention of agriculture changed humans and the environment forever. The practice originated independently in a least a dozen different places over several thousand years. But why did agriculture begin in those places and at those particular times in human history? more
"Do Kea Birds Have Cooperative Abilities?"
In a new video from Latest Thinking, Russell Gray describes his research investigating the cooperative abilities of kea birds, and what this can tell us about ourselves. more
Frankfurter Allgemeine, March 24, 2018 | Feuilleton
Wie erforscht man Ursprünge? (How do you explore origins?)
An article (in German) by Wolfgang Krischke on the work of the Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution as well as the conflicts between computer-based and classical linguistics, for which the author also spoke with Johann-Mattis List, head of the "Computer-Assisted Language Comparison (CALC)" research group. more
New linguistic analysis finds that Dravidian language family is approximately 4,500 years old
The Dravidian language family, varieties of which are spoken by 220 million people across South Asia, is crucial in understanding the prehistory not only of the subcontinent but of Eurasia as a whole. more
Intensification of agriculture and social hierarchies evolve together, study finds
Computational analyses of the evolution of 155 Island South East Asian and Pacific societies reveal the way social and material factors combine to drive major transitions in human social organization. more
Tracking the spread of early hunter-gatherers through language
Scientists have further evidence that an ancient family of languages spread over most of the Australian continent in the last 6000 years, rapidly replacing pre-existing languages. But the puzzle remains as to why. more
"How Well Do Automatic Methods for Language Comparison Work?"
In a new video from Latest Thinking, Johann-Mattis List describes his research on automatic methods of language comparison, which have reached a level of performance that allows linguists to use them as a pre-screening tool. more
International Women's Day 2018 at the MPI-SHH
This month we will be highlighting female employees and their work, beginning with Director Nicole Boivin of the Department of Archaeology. Check back here throughout the month for updates! more
Ball or stuffed toy - do dogs “know” what they’re smelling?
Dogs create a mental representation of objects that they perceive through smell, a new study shows – and are surprised if what they find at the end of the trail differs from what they expected to find. more
Ancient DNA reveals genetic replacement despite language continuity in the South Pacific
New genetic research explains how Austronesian languages were retained throughout its history despite near-total replacement of early Austronesian-Lapita with Papuan ancestry. more
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