Professor, Director, Institute for Empirical Linguistics, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main

Address: Rostocker Str. 2, 60323 Frankfurt am Main. Office: SKW building, 4B.106. Phone: +49-69-798-25054. Mail:

Quicklinks to:


The DiACL database is up. Like before, with open access and downloadable data (April 2024).

The new text book "Linguistic Archaeology" will soon be out. Available for pre-order, May 7, 2024. Published May 28, 2024. (March 2024)

Over time, words change their meaning. Some words seldom change, others change faster, and the direction of meaning change is typically from more general to more specific. In a new paper in Frontiers in Communication, we explore the mechanisms for semantic change. (May 2023) 

New paper in Nature Humanities & Social Science, about the mechanisms of expansion of grammatical features. (January 2022)

Workshop at International Conference on Historical Linguistics 2022,  Oxford, 1-5 August 2022, "Recent advances in computational historical linguistics: New methods and results", organized by Russell Gray (MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig); Gerd Carling (Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University). (December 2021) 

Webinar (October 15, 2021) presenting the study "Reconstructing the evolution of Indo-European grammar" (Language 97:3) on the Youtube page of Linguistic Society of America. (October 2021)

Quick access to data and code: in Publications, a direct link to data and code is added immediately after each publication. Don't forget to visit the Guidelines for users pages, where there are further instructions for how to download data not yet published. (2021-10-21) 

A study in Language reconstructs the evolution of Indo-European grammar by computational models. See news release from EurekAlert (2021-09-02) and Science Daily (2021-08-31). Webinar at Linguistic Society of America October 15, 2021, 12PM Eastern Time (ET)/18:00 Central European Time (CET). Information about the webinar

Recent study in Diachronica reconstructs the evolutionary dynamics of Indo-European alignment (2021-09-02).

New paper in Journal of Germanic Linguistics on how Scandinavian languages developed a two-gender system. See this blogpost for a summary (2021-08-27).

New paper in Philosophical Transactions B about the emergence of vocal iconicity. See the blogpost "Why a nose is a nose" for a popular summary (2021-03-22). Media coverage at Lund University news page and in Forskning och Framsteg (2021-03-31).