I am a linguistic typologist working with corpus-based and phylogenetic methods for studying language diversity. My current research adds this angle to the SFB 1102 IDeaL project in order to explain cross-linguistic patterns in information distribution. The first findings on doing that using our corpus CIEP+ can be found:

My research program at large spans from work on inferring phylogenetic relationships (phylogenetic trees)…

  • for example, on the Dravidian language family, see here;
  • for a recent paper on accounting for reticulation when inferring phylogenies, see here;

    …to using these trees to do quantitative typology using phylogenetic comparative methods. I have worked on a variety of topics using these methods, among others;

    But I have worked on other topics too:

    • work with Ewelina Wnuk and colleagues, demonstrating that color technology is not necessary for rich and efficient color language;
    • see here for the presentation of Steve Moran's BDPROTO, a database comprising phonological inventory data from 257 ancient and reconstructed languages, including a case study on rates of change of consonantal and vocalic systems;
    • see here for a paper with Mark Pagel and colleagues on modeling vocabulary using approximate Bayesian computation, methodology usually employed in population genetics;
    • and see here  for a study on source and goal marking in various European languages

    Most of these works are open access, and some can be found on one of the outlets below. If you need a copy of something and can’t find it, please write to me.


    You can find some videos by me here:


    Contact: annemarie.verkerk[at]uni-saarland.de