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CHIELD: The causal hypotheses in evolutionary linguistics database

Roberts, Sean G., Killin, Anton, Deb, Angarika, Sheard, Catherine, Greenhill, Simon J., Sinnemäki, Kaius, Segovia-Martín, Jose, Nolle, Jonas, Berdicevskis, Aleksandrs, Humphreys-Balkwill, Archie, Little, Hannah, Opie, Christopher, Jacques, Guillaume, Bromham, Lindell, Tinits, Peeter, Ross, Robert M., Lee, Sean, Gasser, Emily, Calladine, Jasmine, Spike, Matthew, Mann, Stephen Francis, Shcherbakova, Olena, Singer, Ruth, Zhang, Shuya, Benítez-Burraco, Antonio, Kliesch, Christian, Thomas-Colquhoun, Ewan, Skirgard, Hedvig, Tamariz, Monica, Passmore, Sam, Pellard, Thomas and Jordan, Fiona 2020. CHIELD: The causal hypotheses in evolutionary linguistics database. Journal of Language Evolution 5 (2) , pp. 101-120. 10.1093/jole/lzaa001
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Language is one of the most complex of human traits. There are many hypotheses about how it originated, what factors shaped its diversity, and what ongoing processes drive how it changes. We present the Causal Hypotheses in Evolutionary Linguistics Database (CHIELD,, a tool for expressing, exploring, and evaluating hypotheses. It allows researchers to integrate multiple theories into a coherent narrative, helping to design future research. We present design goals, a formal specification, and an implementation for this database. Source code is freely available for other fields to take advantage of this tool. Some initial results are presented, including identifying conflicts in theories about gossip and ritual, comparing hypotheses relating population size and morphological complexity, and an author relation network.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 2058-4571
Funders: Leverhulme
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 April 2020
Date of Acceptance: 7 February 2020
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2020 16:14

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