Workshop: Phylomemetic and phylogenetic approaches in the

Saturday, Nov. 24th 2012, University of Bern, Switzerland

Thank you all for participating! See below for links to the presentations held at the workshop.

Abstract submission is closed. If you would like to participate without giving a paper, please let us know by sending a short note to so we can plan ahead. Feel free to contact us in case of any further questions.

The workshop will be held in room F-121 of Unitobler (basement, entrance from Lerchenweg 36).

A warming up dinner will be taking place at the Restaurant Beaulieu at the corner of Länggassstrasse and Erlachstrasse at 19:30 on Friday evening. There will also be a chance to continue discussion at an informal dinner on saturday evening for those who stay overnight or leave late. 

Preliminary program 
The timetable may shift during the day, as we want to allow for  spontaneous discussion.

09:15 Michael Stolz (Dean of the Arts and Humanities Faculty)
Opening Address
09:25 Gabriel Viehhauser / Ruprecht von Waldenfels, Bern

Phylogenetic algorithms in linguistic and literary studies:
stemmatology in a new edition of Parzival and the analysis of parallel corpus data for a usage-based typology of Slavic
10:00 Teemu Roos, Helsinki

Probabilistic models for phylogenetics and stemmatology: Theory and practice  download slides 

10:45 Coffee break

11:15 Michael Cysouw, Marburg

Back to the roots: using regular sound correspondences for linguistic phylogeny (as one should) download slides 
12:00 Sergej Saj, St.-Petersburg

Two-place verb classes: towards measuring (dis)similarity between the languages of Europe

12:30  Lunch break

14:00 Jamie Tehrani, Durham

Phylomemetics in Anthropology download slides
14:45 Gerold Schneider, Zürich

Syntactic parsing as a phylogenetic task download slides


Richard Littauer, Malta
Using Demographic Data with Bayesian Phylogenies: A Japanese Case Study download poster

15:15  Coffee break

15:45 Steven Moran & Johann-Mattis List, München, Zürich

A Python Toolkit for Quantitative Tasks in Historical-Comparative Linguistics download slides 
16:15 Balthasar Bickel, Zürich

Exploring similarities: phylogenetic methods beyond phylogeny  download slides 

 17:00 Final discussion

Meeting description:
The use of phylogenetic methods in biology has a long tradition, but has only recently become more mainstream in humanitarian disciplines. We invite contributors from all disciplines who have applied phylogenetic methods to humanistic research problems to present their work in this workshop. We are especially interested in methodological issues that have relevance across the disciplines; this may also include case studies focusing on the applicability of these methods to specific data types and research questions.

The workshop is preceded by a tutorial focusing on the application of phylogenetic methods in literary studies and linguistics. We welcome papers dealing with issues from all humanitarian disciplines such as anthropology, archaeology, art history etc.

Invited speakers:
  • Teemu Roos (Computer science / stemmatology, University of Helsinki)
  • Michael Cysouw (Linguistic typology / historical linguistics, Philipps-Universität Marburg)
  • Jamie Tehrani (Anthropology, University of Durham)
  • Balthasar Bickel (General linguistics, Universität Zürich)