Menu Close
Professor in Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University

I am an evolutionary linguist, with a background in language description, linguistic typology, and phylogenetics. My current research focus is on the evolutionary processes acting within language and between language and culture: their evolutionary history, the evolutionary dependencies between different aspects of language, and the cultural factors which shape the evolution of language. From the beginning of 2009 was the leader of a Max Planck Research Group "Evolutionary Processes in Language and Culture", and in 2014 I moved the the Department of Linguistics and Philology of Uppsala University in Sweden to be Chair Professor of General Linguistics.

I have a long term research interest in linguistic isolates: the Papuan languages of Melanesia and the Paleosiberian languages of the Russian Arctic, but―because of my interest in reconstructing evolutionary processes―now spend more time thinking about language families, especially Austronesian, Indo-European and Aslian/Austroasiatic.


  • 2014–present
    Chair professor, Department of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University


  • 2000 
    Australian National University, PhD / Linguistics