Home / Research / Projects / Quantitative and phylogenetic accounts of linguistic diversity and change (Bentz)


Languages differ vastly with regard to the range of phonemes, morphemes, words, and constructions used to encode information. Bentz applies information-theoretic methods in order to measure this world-wide linguistic diversity and to model and explain its evolution. In this context, a particular focus is on so-called “external” factors – such as geographical spread, population contact, and cultural exchange – and how these shape languages over historical and evolutionary time. To disentangle the complex interplay of these factors he uses cross-linguistic data, large-scale statistical analyses, and phylogenetic modelling tools.