Do languages and genes share cultural evolutionary history? – A focus article by Sciences Advances
Sciences Advances wrote a focus article presenting the study with NCCR members Peter Ranacher, Balthasar Bickel, Ken Shimizu and a larger international team. This is the 5th focus piece in 2021 (& only non-biomedicine paper), which highlights its importance.
Rate emojis and take part in a scientific research!
Since the advent of digital communication, emojis have become increasingly popular. But what do they mean? How and in what context are they used? In order to answer these questions, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Lausanne and the EPFL has launched ACCOMOJI, a project that investigates WhatsApp conversations in Switzerland.
Data Science Consultant (specialized in statistics) 70-100%
Within the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) Evolving Language, which involves nearly 40 different research groups from a large variety of disciplines across Switzerland, and the University of Zurich Technology Platform LiRI (Linguistic Research Infrastructure), we seek to hire a data science consultant specialized in statistical modeling at the University of Zurich. The successful candidate will work intensively with researchers across the entire network of the NCCR and language scientists in Switzerland more broadly. Conditions permitting, this may involve also spending limited periods of time in labs outside Zurich. The position is initially limited for a period of two years with the possibility of extension and a permanent contract.
New SNSF Project on Native Accents in Infant’s cries
Prof. Dr. Alexis Hervais-Adelman, Associate Investigator for the NCCR Evolving Language, has been awarded a SNSF grant for his project on Native Accents in Infants’ Cries.
South American Musical Instruments Reflect Population Relationships
A new study led by researchers at the University of Zurich provides the first systematic review of musical instrument diversity in the archaeological and ethnographic history of the continent, suggesting cultural contact over long geographic distances, and cases of recent extinction. These findings bring a new piece to the puzzle of human history that combines the movement of populations, cultural characteristics and the evolutionary history of languages.
International Symposium Announcement, Zurich, Sept. 29-30
the Swiss National Competence Center in Research ‘Evolving Language’ is happy to announce a special symposium on The Molecular Anthropology of Language: Results and Prospects. This two-day event held at the University of Zurich from 29-30 September 2021 will bring together both established and emerging leaders in this burgeoning field.
Scientifica 2021 – When researchers meet the public
The NCCR Evolving Language community took actively part in Scientifica, the science festival held by the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich on September 4-5.
What If Our History Was Written In Our Grammar?
Humans have been always on the move, creating a complex history of languages and cultural traditions dispersed over the globe. An international team under UZH’s lead has now traced families of related languages over more than 10,000 years by combining data from genetics, linguistics and musicology using novel digital methods. Their findings: grammar reflects best the common prehistory of a population and therefore mirrors genetics more than any other cultural feature.
Like humans, apes communicate to start and end social interactions
Apes use specific gestures to start and end social interaction. A behavior not seen outside of the human species until now, report scientists from the Universities of Neuchâtel (UniNE) and Durham (UK). They also found that the social and power dynamics between the interacting apes affected the communication efforts used, which the researchers say mirrors patterns similar to human politeness. The findings are published today in the journal iScience.
Paul Widmer (UZH) has been appointed full professor
Our PI Paul Widmer has been appointed Full Professor of Comparative Indo-European Linguistics at the University of Zurich, Department of Comparative Language Science. Congratulations to him!
The South American Ethnosphere: Human diversity in time and space
A workshop sponsored by the platform Congressi Stefano Franscini (ETH) and the Latin American Center Zurich to promote exchanges and conversations on the state of the art research on human diversity and landscape impacts in South America. Participants include experts from different fields such as archaeology, history, anthropology, linguistics, genetics, botanic.
SciFilmIt: create a movie in 72 hours!
Are you eager to learn about science communication and storytelling? Do you want to create a short film about your research under the mentorship of experts and present it in a cinema? Here’s the opportunity! We’re very happy to tell you that we’ve partnered up with the association SciFilmIt, which aims at bridging the gap between science and emotion through film.
Cracking language mystery for over a year!
It has been over a year since the launch of the NCCR. We are very proud of what we have accomplished during the past months.
Art-science project with Julie Semoroz
Born from the collaboration with the Flux Laboratory and Prof Didier Grandjean from CISA, UNIGE – NCCR Evolving Language, DOUZE MILLE VINGT refers to the internal perception of sound and acts on the capacity to feel the internal physiological activity as indicators of emotions, of the body state.
Movie hackathon: a film on Language in 72 hours
We’re very happy that Carmen Saldana and Chiara Barbieri agreed to participate in the SciFilmIt Hackathons and created a movie on language.
Dr. Silvia Marchesotti was awarded by the Swiss Dyslexia Association
Silvia Marchesotti received the Swiss Dyslexia Association Research Award 2021 for her work “Selective enhancement of low-gamma activity by tACS improves phonemic processing and reading accuracy in dyslexia”.
Special issue with our UZH collaborators
The UZH Magazine released a special dossier in collaboration with our colleagues from the University of Zurich. Language is our most powerful tool. It evolved along with our species over the millennia. The UZH-led NCCR Evolving Language aims to explore how exactly we developed our capacity for linguistic expression. We spoke with the researchers involved […]
Meet our #NCCRWomen!
Embark on a fascinating journey through the evolution of language! Five of our #NCCRWomen introduces you to their research and personal experience in science.
Happy Birthday, NCCR Evolving Language!
We celebrate one year of joint interdisciplinary research and outreach activities. Launching an NCCR during the global pandemic was not a piece of cake but we are proud of our achievements and we look forward to more exciting research in the years to come!
Diversity at the heart of Evolving Language
21 May is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. It is an opportunity to reflect on the values of cultural diversity and to learn how to better “live together”. Within the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Evolving Language, diversity is an essential pillar. As such, we are implementing measures to ensure full inclusion.
The ZNZ talks about us!
What makes our NCCR unique and how will it carry language research far into the future? Find it out in the latest issue of the Neuroscience Center Zurich (University of Zurich) newsletter! With our PIs Richard Hahnloser, Martin Meyer, Moritz Daum & Silvia Brem
Adrian Guggisberg has been appointed head of Neurorehabilitation at the University Hospital in Bern.
The management of the Insel Group has appointed Prof. Adrian Guggisberg, MD, as head of Neurorehabilitation at the University Hospital in Bern.
Marmoset Monkeys Eavesdrop On and Understand Conversations Between Other Marmosets
Marmoset monkeys perceive the vocal interactions between their conspecifics not just as a string of calls, but as coherent conversations. They also evaluate their content. These are the findings of a study by researchers at the University of Zurich which combined thermography methods with behavioral preference measures.
Additional information to the 19h30 RTS of Friday (04.02.21)
Following the report “Brain stimulation, a hope to cure dyslexia”, on February 4, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. of the RTS, the dyslexia team of the NCCR (National Center of Competence in Research)- Evolving Language, Profe Anne-Lise Giraud, Dr. Sylvia Marchesotti and Johanna Nicolle provided additional information on the study which can be found on the website of the Association Dyslexie Suisse romande.
Around 200 people attended our Online Information Event
Around 200 people joined us yesterday for our online information event! This was a great opportunity to officially introduce our NCCR to the community.
Open position – Data Engineer (UZH)
Bonobos are sensitive to joint commitments
Bonobos, when abruptly interrupted in a social activity with another bonobo, resume it, as soon as the interruption is over, with the same partner.
An ERC Consolidator Grant for Judith Burkart
Judith Burkart has been awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant for her research on interdependence between humans and apes during human evolution.
Online Information Event
We would like to invite you all to an online information event on January 22nd, 2021, 4-5 pm. We will present the project, explain our larger scientific vision and discuss our long-term plans. The presentation will be in English, followed by a Q&A session.
Dwarf mongooses may combine units in order to create new meanings
Dwarf mongooses seem to produce a complex call that may be a combination of distinct call units.
NCCR member Silvia Brem has been presented with the Georg Friedrich Götz Award
Cancer researcher and physician Steffen Böttcher from the Universitätsspital Zürich and neuroscientist Silvia Brem have been presented with the Georg Friedrich Götz Award for their outstanding contributions in the field of medical research.
NCCR PI Sabine Stoll’s results in the latest Research*eu magazine
ERC Research from our PI and director of ISLE, Sabine Stoll, was presented in the latest Research*eu magazine: ‘How children learn how to speak: a cross-language investigation’.
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Martin Volk joins management board of COST Action
NCCR PI Martin Volk joined the management board of the COST Action Language In The Human-Machine Era. This COST Action aims at preparing linguistics and its subdisciplines for the digital challenges of our times as well as at fostering the long-term dialogue between linguistics and technology developers.
NCCR officially started
The NCCR Evolving Language officially started on June 1, 2020. An official inauguration event will be held in fall at the University of Zurich. Date and location will be communicated in due course.
NCCR starting date postponed
Baring possible further decisions by the SERI or the SNSF, the starting date of the NCCR has been postponed to June 1, 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. The earliest timepoint for hiring scientific staff is one month after the start date. Since this is just before the summer break, most projects will take […]