Dr Erich Round awarded British Academy Global Professorship

27 Jul 2020

Congratulations to School of Languages and Cultures Linguistics Lecturer Dr Erich Round for being announced as one of the latest cohort of British Academy Global Professors. This is one of ten highly prestigious Global Professorships awarded world-wide this year by the British Academy. Erich will be based in the UK for four years from 2021 - 2024 and will take up a position at the Surrey Morphology Group at the University of Surrey in the UK to undertake a research program entitled “Accelerating our Discovery of the Linguistic Past”

This appointment provides Erich the opportunity to expand the foundations of an evolutionary theory of linguistic systems of word formation, such as verb conjugations and noun declensions. Since complex historical dynamics can trigger unexpected outcomes, the project translates current theories of change into their corresponding mathematical models and applies these to investigate whether the theories’ predictions, once computationally implemented, are consistent with theorists’ original expectations. The aim is to create new opportunities for the evaluation, refinement and exploration of our scientific understanding of language change. In doing so, the project emphasises interdisciplinary parallels between theories in linguistics and related models in fields such as cultural evolution and seeks to demystify the potential of mathematical modelling for scholarly inquiry into linguistic history.