New paper!

The project has published a paper 'Sociolinguistic Typology Meets Historical Corpus Linguistics' in Transactions of the Philological Society. The article lays out our approach of examining sociolinguistic typology using corpus data, and details the three case studies of our PhD students: null subject systems in Latin American Spanish, loss of number concord in the history of English and the reduction of the case system in the history of Balkan Slavic.

International Conference on Historical Linguistics 2023 (ICHL26) September

Several members of STARFISH attended and presented at sunny ICHL26 in September. Gemma presented a talk entitled 'Diachronic Null Subject Use across Latin American Spanish: Comparing Corpora' and George took part in the panel 'Linguistic models (with a focus on morphosyntactic change)'. Additionally, Henri presented his work with Deepthi Gopal in a talk 'Correlations between linguistic features are reflected in their geospatial patterning: Introducing the geo-typological Sandwich Conjecture'.

Diachronic Generative Syntax (DiGS 24) July

Several members of the project headed to Paris for DiGS in July to present their work. Henri gave a talk entitled 'Contact-induced change as an emergent property of complex systems: Linking population dynamics, linguistic theory and psychology of learning'. On the 5th, Raquel presented her work 'Mood alternations: The diachronic development of the polarity subjunctive'. Molly presented her work in a talk and poster with the title 'A formal account of diachronic case and adposition change' on the 6th, and George gave a talk entitled 'Adult language acquisition and change' and presented a poster entitled 'Raising out of control' with Sigríður Björnsdóttir, Lisa Gotthard and Chiara Riegger.

New article: Language structure is influenced by the proportion of non-native speakers: A reply to Koplenig (2019)

Henri, George and Sarah have published a journal article in reply to Koplenig (2019) in Journal of Language Evolution (2023). Link to the article here, preprint here.

Colloquium on Generative Grammar (CGG32), May 2023

Molly presented her doctoral work on the relationship between case and adpositions at CGG32. Slides to the talk found here, and the abstract here.


In January at NELS 2023, Raquel and Maribel Romero presented their research with the talk 'Examining the Meaning of Polarity Subjunctive'.

Going Romance 2022

Raquel gave a talk entitled 'Examining the Locality of Polarity Subjunctive in Peninsular Spanish' at Going Romance 2022.

Artificial Language Learning Workshop

In October, project STARFISH sponsored a very well-attended and interesting one-day workshop on artificial language learning run by Dr. Shira Tal, Marc Meisezahl and Annie Holtz from the Centre for Language Evolution. All of the materials from the workshop can be found here

EU Research article

Following an interview earlier in the year, EU Research published an article on project STARFISH in their autumn issue.


Gemma recently presented her work on null subjects at CODILI, the slides of which can be found here.

New article: A bifurcation threshold of contact-induced language change

Henri Kauhanen has a new paper published in Glossa
Kauhanen, H., (2022) “A bifurcation threshold for contact-induced language change”, Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 7(1). 

Joint Conference on Language Evolution 2022

As part of the Joint Conference on Language Evolution , Henri presented his research through a poster entitled 'A critical population threshold for contact-induced simplification.'

International Conference on Historical Linguistics 2022

The whole STARFISH team attended and thoroughly enjoyed the International Conference on Historical Linguistics (ICHL22) in August, presenting their research in the form of a talk: 'Sociolinguistic typology meets historical corpus linguistics'. Abstract here. In addition, several members of the group offered talks on their individual work. The slides for each are available for download via clicking on the respective titles.

Henri Kauhanen gave a talk entitled 'A critical threshold for the population fraction of L2 speakers necessary and sufficient to bring about contact-induced language change' as part of the workshop 'Acting on actuation: Why here, why now?'

In the main conference, Raquel Montero delivered a talk entitled 'The Loss of Plural Concord in Quantifiers and Adjectives in Middle English'. Abstract here.

Finally, a talk entitled 'Changes in Null Subjects in Latin American Spanish: a diachronic corpus study' was presented by Gemma McCarley. Abstract here.

HiSoN 2022

At the 11th Historical Sociolinguistics Network Conference 2022 (HiSoN), Gemma McCarley gave the talk 'Changes in Null Subjects in Latin American Spanish: A Diachronic Corpus Study'.