The Evolution of Phonetic Capabilities Satellite Event at ICPhS

At this year's International Congress of Phonetic Sciences in Glasgow, the ABACUS project is running a special interest satellite meeting on the evolution of our phonetic capabilities.

Date: Wednesday 12th August 2015

Time: 13.30 - 18.30 

Place: Glasgow SECC, Boisdale 1

Registration is £10, and can be completed through the ICPhS registration page under "Registration only with no accommodation".

If you would like to register only for this meeting, without registering for the main ICPhS conference, you can do so by emailing

For any other queries, contact


In recent years, there has been a resurgence in research in the evolution of language and speech. New techniques in computational and mathematical modelling, experimental paradigms, brain and vocal tract imaging, corpus analysis and animal studies, as well as new archeological evidence, have allowed us to address questions relevant to the evolution of our phonetic capabilities. The workshop will focus on recent work addressing the emergence of our phonetic capabilities, with a special focus on the interaction between biological and cultural evolution.


The Evolution of Phonetic Capabilities: Causes, Constraints and Consequences

 Wednesday 12th August – Glasgow SECC, Boisdale 1

13.50 – 14.00




Hannah Little

14.20 – 14.50

Laryngeal Articulatory Function and Speech Origins

John H. Esling,

Allison Benner &

Scott R. Moisik

14.50 – 15.20

Anatomical biasing and clicks: Preliminary biomechanical modeling

Scott R. Moisik &

Dan Dediu

15.20 – 15.50

Exploring potential climate effects on the evolution of human sound systems

Seán G. Roberts,

Caleb Everett &

Damián Blasi

15.50 – 16.20

Coffee Break

16.20 – 16.50

General purpose cognitive processing constraints and phonotactic properties of the vocabulary

Padraic Monaghan & Willem H. Zuidema

16.50 – 17.20

Simulating the interaction of functional pressure, redundancy and category variation in phonetic systems

Bodo Winter &

Andy Wedel

17.20 – 17.50

Universality in Cultural Transmission

Bill Thompson

17.50 – 18.30

Discussion Panel 

Chaired by

Bart de Boer

Research topic: