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South American population history revisited: multidisciplinary perspectives on the Upper Amazon

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 SAPPHIRE project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the SAPPHIRE project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "SAPPHIRE" about.

cognition    natural    history    continental    migration    extremely    dynamics    sociological    window    western    represented    population    contact    light    expansions    evolution    linguistics    sheds    events    central    synergy    amazon    enormous    systematically    time    answer    unlocking    shift    societies    disciplines    disciplinary    matches    focussing    north    innovative    language    patterns    america    despite    forms    signs    deep    geographical    social    upper    faced    historical    laboratory    local    groups    led    unearthing    linguistic    dominated    migrations    interpreting    turn    diversity    trade    shaped    human    generally    socio    uncover    microcosm    sociohistorical    elusive    perhaps    south    interaction    hitherto    unparalleled    area    powerful    ecology    unseen    understand    influential    sustained    communicative    families    layers    reconstruction    exogamy    give    mis    diverse    reconstructed    stages    programmatic   

Project "SAPPHIRE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: RAPENBURG 70
city: LEIDEN
postcode: 2311 EZ

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 1˙993˙378 €
 EC max contribution 1˙993˙378 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2018-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2019
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2019-08-01   to  2024-07-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT LEIDEN NL (LEIDEN) coordinator 1˙993˙378.00


 Project objective

The central challenge faced by linguistics is to understand linguistic diversity. Despite influential programmatic studies and sustained interest, many aspects of the evolution of linguistic diversity remain elusive. Yet, the potential value of understanding linguistic diversity is enormous. It could help us uncover specific past events such as migration and historical contact between societies, perhaps even in very deep time and, more generally, it can give us insight into the interaction between ecology and human behaviour and human cognition.

This project will answer these challenges by focussing on the Upper Amazon in western South America, an area which forms a unique microcosm of diversity in which several sociohistorical layers of the continental population history are represented. The north and south are extremely diverse, and likely represent very old diversity patterns. Both areas also show signs of local language contact. The central part is dominated by three language families, which represent expansions of these groups into the Upper Amazon at different stages. This microcosm of diversity forms a unparalleled natural laboratory for understanding more about sociological dynamics and the evolution of linguistic diversity.

The project will take an innovative multi-disciplinary approach to unearthing the socio-historical dynamics that have led to these various diversity patterns. In order to do so, geographical, socio-historical, and communicative layers of history are reconstructed and systematically compared, achieving a level of synergy between the disciplines hitherto unseen. Interpreting the (mis)matches between these layers allows for a powerful reconstruction of past events, (e.g. migrations, language shift, exogamy, trade), and sheds light on how these social dynamics shaped linguistic diversity, in turn unlocking the potential of linguistic diversity as a unique window on our past.

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The information about "SAPPHIRE" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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