Institute for Mediterranean Studies

Department of Linguistics

The Department of Linguistics of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies is the only research unit in Greece dedicated to studying the historical evolution of languages using methods inspired by evolutionary biology. It aims to develop phylogenetic methods that are adequate for representing the dynamics of language change and to collect data that are most suitable for its reconstruction. The department fosters collaboration among linguistics, evolutionary biology and informatics, also integrating theoretical-formal linguistics with historical linguistics, dialectology, and typology. It primarily focuses on data derived from morphology and syntax, in contrast to existing research that predominantly relies on lexical/cognate data.

Established in 2023, the department brings together experts from humanities, life sciences, and computer science with the aim of laying the groundwork for a new interdisciplinary field, already flourishing abroad but currently absent in Greece. To fulfill its objectives, the Department will train new researchers and conduct research that combines innovative qualitative and quantitative methods to (a) elucidate what distinguishes the evolution of languages from that of species and (b) evaluate the historical signal contained in linguistic data. Through collaborations with biologists, computer scientists, and potential synergies with historians, archaeologists, philologists, and anthropologists, the Department seeks to contribute to the reconstruction of historical language relationships, shedding light on the origins and history of human populations, with a particular focus on Eurasia, the Mediterranean, and Greece. 

People

Elena Anagnostopoulou

Elena Anagnostopoulou

Professor of Linguistics
Dept. of Philology, Division of Linguistics, University of Crete
Curriculum vitae
Stergios Chatzikyriakidis

Stergios Chatzikyriakidis

Professor
Dept. of Philology, University of Crete
Curriculum vitae
Manolis Ladoukakis

Manolis Ladoukakis

Faculty Member
Dept. of Biology, University of Crete
Curriculum vitae
Dimitra Melissaropoulou

Dimitra Melissaropoulou

Professor
Dept. of Italian Language and Literature, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Curriculum vitae
Dimitris Michelioudakis

Dimitris Michelioudakis

Assistant Professor
Dept. of Linguistics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Curriculum vitae
Pavlos Pavlidis

Pavlos Pavlidis

Associate Professor
Dept. of Biology, University of Crete
Curriculum vitae
Alexandros Stamatakis

Alexandros Stamatakis

ERA Chair
Institute of Computer Science, FORTH
Maria-Margarita Makri

Maria-Margarita Makri

Postdoctoral Researcher
Directorate of Secondary Education of Dodecanese, Ministry of Education, Religious Affairs and Sport
Curriculum vitae

Research Projects

PhylProGramm

Phylogenies probing Grammar. Exploring morphosyntax at different scales of language change

ERC

Principal Investigator: Elena Anagnstopoulou
Funding Body: European Research Council (Advanced Grant 2022, Grant Agreement 101096554)
Starting Date: 1 October 2023,   End Date: 30 September 2028
Total Budget: € 2,499,925
Host Institution: IMS-FORTΗ