GramAdapt Visitor Dr. Mark T. Ellison from University of Cologne

Between February 12th and 26th, the GramAdapt team had the pleasure to host their first research visitor since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic! Mark T. Ellison, from the University of Cologne, came to visit us in Helsinki for a two-week full immersion in data analysis.

Mark is an expert in cognitive models of language use, agent-based models of language change, and functional programming and categorisation. His list of publications is vast and covers such topics as bilingualism, language evolution, language contact and divergence, phonological theory, and Bayesian statistics (personal website). In Cologne, he is working on a project concerning a Bayesian predictive model of prominence, which is part of a larger multi-team project on Prominence in Language led by Professor Nikolaus Himmelmann (link).

During his visit, Mark closely collaborated with the members of the GramAdapt team on developing quantificational approaches to linguistic and sociolinguistic data collected by the GramAdapt team. He has also lent his expertise on how to link the two kinds of data. In addition to working with GramAdapt members, Mark held a seminar on Linguistic Prominence and Modelling Language at the HALS Seminar Series (link).

Collaborations between Mark and the GramAdapt team will be ongoing, and we hope to learn more about various methods and approaches that bring linguistic and non-linguistic data closer together.