Carmen Saldana


PhD candidate @
Centre for Language Evolution,
The University of Edinburgh,
Room 1.15, Dugald Stewart Building,
3 Charles Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AD

Linked-in: Carmen C. Saldana




Research
I study the cultural evolution of complexity in linguistic structure. I examine how pressures at play during language learning and use (i.e. generalisability, discriminability and coordination) shape the evolution of structural and compositional complexity in artificial languages, providing experimental analogues to processes in natural language change and formation. 

Research interests
I am interested in the evolution and development of language within an extended evolutionary model which highlights culture, the role of environment and the interaction between them and the different cognitive capacities in developing language specific behaviour. I am also very interested in developing new measures to quantify and define the different aspects of complexity within linguistic systems.

Teaching
I am a tutor in the Linguistics and English Language department at The University of Edinburgh. In the last three years I have tutor a wide range of levels (pre-honours undergraduates, honours undergraduates and postgraduates) and courses: Introduction to Linguistics and English Language (pre-honours), Phonetic Analysis and Empirical Methods (pre-honours), Cross-linguistic variation (pre-honours), First Language Acquisition (honours), Second Language Acquisition (honours), Child Bilingualism (honours), Language Pathology (honours), Origins and Evolution of Language (honours and postgraduates).

Publications
Saldana, C., Kirby, S., Smith, K. & Culbertson, J. (2017) Is the strength of regularisation behaviour uniform across linguistic levels? Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]

Saldana C., Kirby S. and Smith K. (2016). The Cultural Evolution Of Complexity In Linguistic Structure. In S.G. Roberts, C. Cuskley, L. McCrohon, L. Barceló-Coblijn, O. Fehér & T. Verhoef (eds.) The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11). [pdf]

Saldana, C. , Kirby S. and Smith K.(forthcoming) The cultural evolution of lexical syntactic categories. Proceedings of the International Cognitive Linguistics Conference 13. Northumbria, UK.

Saldana, C. and Boeckx, C. (2014) Accelerated Regions and the Language Faculty. Proceedings of the Evolution of Language Conference (EVOLANG X), Vienna, Austria.

Saldaña Gascón, C. (2012) Estudio paremiológico intergeneracional. Paremia 21: 187-196.


Presentations at peer-reviewed conferences
Saldana C., Kirby S. and Smith K. (2016). The Cultural Evolution Of Complexity In Linguistic Structure. Evolang XI, New Orleans, LA, USA.

Saldana, C., Kirby S. and Smith K. (2015) Cultural evolution, compositionality and phrase structure. Protolang 4. Rome, Italy.

Saldana, C., Kirby S. and Smith K. (2015) The cultural evolution of complex syntactic structure. International Cognitive Linguistics Conference 13. Northumbria, UK. 

Saldana, C., Kirby S. and Smith K. (2015) The cultural evolution of lexical categories in an Iterated Learning experiment. Interdisciplinary Advances in Statistical Learning. BCBL, San Sebastian.

Saldana, C., Kirby S. and Smith K. (2015) The cultural evolution of functional morphology in an Iterated Learning experiment. Workshop on the Causality in the Language Sciences. Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Science, Leipzig.

Saldana, C. and Boeckx, C. (2014) Human Accelerated Regions and the Language faculty. EVOLANG X, Vienna University, Austria.

Saldana, C. and Boeckx, C. (2014) Cerebellar loops and the Language Faculty’ Nijmegen Lectures 2014, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Saldaña, C.C. and Boeckx, C. (2012) The acceleration of the genetic clock points to the importance of the cerebrocortico-cerebellar connectivity in the emergence of the language faculty, ICREA International Symposium on Biolinguistics, University of Barcelona, Spain.

Conference reviewing
2013-2016: Reviewer for the Evolution of Language International Conference (Evolang).
2014: Reviewer for the International Cognitive Linguistics Conference (ICLC).

Languages
Catalan, Spanish, Italian, English. Basic knowledge of French, Portuguese, German and BSL.

Computing skills
Python (including PsychoPy), R, LaTex, JavaScript, R, HTML, PHP, Praat, Stata, Adobe InDesign, Inkscape