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Conference Information

Full Title: Workshop: Phylometric and Phylogenetic Approaches in the Humanities

Location: Bern, Switzerland
Start Date: 24-Nov-2012 - 24-Nov-2012
Contact: Ruprecht von Waldenfels
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: The analysis of large sets of genetic data with phylogenetic algorithms has a long tradition in biology. In the recent past, these methods have also been gaining increasing importance in the humanities, e.g. linguistics (e.g. Warnow and Nichols 2008; McMahon and McMahon 2005), literary studies (e.g. Windram, Shaw, Robinson and Howe 2008) or anthropology (e.g. Tehrani, Collard and Shennan 2010) where they have been used for the visualisation and analysis of different kinds of data such as comparative word lists, manuscript traditions or other types of cultural artefacts. The workshop ‘Phylometric and Phylogenetic Approaches in the Humanities’ makes a contribution towards evaluating these innovative approaches. We would like to bring together specialists from different disciplines to discuss and exchange ideas about possible applications and limitations of ‘phylomemetics’ (Howe and Windram 2011).

The workshop is directly preceded by a tutorial announced separately. For more information, please visit:

Invited Speakers:

Teemu Roos (Computer Science, University of Helsinki)
Michael Cysouw (Linguistic typology, Philipps-Universität Marburg)
Jamie Tehrani (Anthropology, University of Durham)
Balthasar Bickel (Linguistics, University of Zurich)


McMahon and McMahon (2005), Language Classification by Numbers. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. Nichols and Warnow (2008), Tutorial on Computational Linguistic Phylogeny. Language and Linguistics Compass, 2: 760-820. Windram, Shaw, Robinson, Howe (2008): Dante’s Monarchia as a test case for the use of phylogenetic methods in stemmatic analysis. LLC 23(4): 443-463; Tehrani, Collard and Shennan (2010), The cophylogeny of populations and cultures: reconstructing the evolution of Iranian tribal craft traditions using trees and jungles. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 365(1559): 3865-3874. Howe and Windram (2011): Phylomemetics - evolutionary analysis beyond the gene. PLoS Biology 9: 1-5.
Linguistic Subfield: Computational Linguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics
LL Issue: 23.3963

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