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History and Ecology of Language and languages

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France  Anglais  Last update : 17/12/2018     


I.E., Contractuelle CNRS



Teams :   DiLiS 

  Training and professional background
  Research interests
  Project management
  Awards and research grants
  Participation in research projects
  Main publications and conferences



2007-2014: PhD in Environmental Science - University of California, Berkeley
Dissertation title: From Spiders to Languages: a phylogenetic journey.


2000-2005: Bachelor's Degree in Biology - National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
Thesis title: The Flora of Kastos Island, Ionian Sea, Greece




Comparative and historical linguistics


Application of phylogenetic methods in historical linguistics. Development of coding methods for lexical, phonological and morphosyntactic data.


Integration of historical linguistics with archaeological, ethnographic and genetic data.


Language families-subgroups: Tupí-Guaraní, Cariban.




Migration of the Tupí-Guaraní comparative lexical database on the RefLex platform. - in collaboration with Sebastien Flavier (DDL)




2007- 2010: Scholarship for PhD studies in biological sciences from the Greek National Scholarships Foundation.


2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012: Walker Fund, Essig Museum of Entomology, University of California, Berkeley.


2009: Harvey J. Magy Scholarship in Entomology, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley.


2010: Robert L. Usinger Scholarship in Entomology, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley.


2014-present: LabEx ASLAN postdoctoral fellowship.




Internal Classification of West Coastal Bantu using phylogenetic methods - in collaboration with Koen Bostoen and Sara Pacchiarotti (Ghent University, Belgium)


Evolution of genderlects in the Tupí family. - in collaboration with Françoise Rose (DDL).


Internal Classification of the Cariban languages using phylogenetic methods. - in collaboration with Sérgio Meira and Joshua Birchall (Museu Parense Goeldi)




2015: Course on phylogenetic methods as applied to historical linguistics covering distance methods, parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian Inference (designed and taught).



PhDs and master thesis

Chousou-Polydouri, N., 2014, "From Spiders to Languages: a Phylogenetic Journey", PhD Thesis, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley


Michael, L., Chousou-Polydouri, N., Bartolomei, K., Donnelly, E., Wauters, V., Meira, S. & O'Hagan, Z., 2015, "A Bayesian Phylogenetic Classification of Tupí-Guaraní.", Liames, 15:2, pp. 193-221 (pdf)

Conferences with proceedings

Chousou-Polydouri, N., Birchall, J., Meira, S., O’Hagan, Z. & Michael, L., 2016, "A test of coding procedures for lexical data with Tupí-Guaraní and Chapacuran languages", proc. of Capturing Phylogenetic Algorithms for Linguistics, Leiden, 26-30 October 2015, Bentz, C., Jäger, G. & Yanovich, I. (eds), University of Tübingen, online publication system, Proceedings of the Leiden Workshop on Capturing Phylogenetic Algorithms for Linguistics (abstract) (pdf)

Conference presentations

Chousou-Polydouri, N., 2018, "Phylogeny and Spread of Amazonian languages: What phylogenetic methods can(not) tell us.", Comparative mythology, population genetics, linguistic phylogenetics, and cognitive patterns: Studies in the new science of cultural diffusion., Paris, December 12-13


Rose, F. & Chousou-Polydouri, N., 2017, "A comparative study of genderlects in the Tupi family", SSILA Annual Meeting, Austin, 6 janvier 2017  (slides)


Chousou-Polydouri, N., Birchall, J. & Meira, S., 2017, "A character-based internal classification of the Cariban language family.", The Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas, Annual meeting, Austin, January 5-8


Chousou-Polydouri, N., Gasparini, N., Michael, L., O'Hagan, Z. & Rose, F., 2016, "Reconstructing Negation Morphemes and Constructions in the Tupí-Guaraní Family", Amazonicas VI, Leticia, Colombie, 24/04/2016


Chousou-Polydouri, N., Michael, L., O'Hagan, Z., Gasparini, N. & Rose, F., 2015, "Phylogenetic Analysis of Morphosyntactic Data. A case study of Negation in Tupí-Guaraní", Societas Linguistica Europeae, Leiden, 8 October 2015 (HAL)


Chousou-Polydouri, N., Birchall, J., Meira, S. & O’Hagan, Z., 2015, " A test of coding procedures with Tupi-Guaranian and Chapacuran languages.", Capturing Phylogenetic Algorithms for Linguistics Workshop, Leiden, October 26-30

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