NCCR Evolving Language
Home institutions: University of Zurich, University of Geneva
Language is what distinguishes human beings from all other species. However, its evolutionary origins remain poorly understood. In addition, today's communicative environment is being reshaped by digitalisation and artificial intelligence: the way we learn and use language has changed, raising the question of how language might develop in the future. The National Centre of Competence in Research "The Origins and Future of Language" (NCCR Evolving Language) explores the evolutionary origins and future development of linguistic communication in a transdisciplinary research programme encompassing linguistics, psychology, neuroscience, biology, anthropology, medicine, genetics, computer science, mathematics and philosophy. The NCCR is structured into three main themes: Dynamic structures of language, Biological substrates of language, and Social cognition of language. These three lines of research are complemented by Transversal Task Forces, which stimulate interdisciplinary collaboration by sharing methods, databases, technologies and equipment, and by fostering discussions on conceptual and ethical issues.
Prof. Dr. Balthasar Bickel
Institut für vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft
Phone: +41 (0) 44 634 02 20
Funding 2020 – 2023 (Swiss francs):
Time-frame Funding source 2020 – 2023 (CHF) SNSF grant* 16'993’200 Funds of University of Zurich* 10’371’000 Funds of University of Geneva* 6’780’000 Group funds of the project participants 1’390’417 External funds --
* contractually agreed funding
NCCRs are financed through grants awarded by the SNSF, but also from other sources. The home institution involved in the NCCR also contributes a substantial amount of money. The available overall budget of the NCCR is further increased by monetary contributions from the project participants and third-party funds, which are generally invested by industrial companies.