Henri Kauhanen

Hi, and welcome! My name is Henri, and I am a complex systems scientist working on linguistic variation and change. I formulate and study mathematical models to try to figure out what is and what isn’t universal in the dynamics of human language.

Postdoctoral Researcher / ERC project STARFISH / University of Konstanz

mail (prep) hkauhanen (dot) fi

Selected papers

A bifurcation threshold for contact-induced language change

Glossa: a journal of general linguistics, 7(1), 1–32 (2022)

The fraction of L2 (second-language) learners present in a speech community must exceed a critical threshold for L2-difficult features to be lost.

Open access: https://doi.org/10.16995/glossa.8211

Geospatial distributions reflect temperatures of linguistic features

Henri Kauhanen, Deepthi Gopal, Tobias Galla & Ricardo Bermúdez-Otero

Science Advances, 7, eabe6540 (2021)

The propensity of features of language to change can be measured using a temperature-like quantity.

Open access: https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abe6540

Replicator–mutator dynamics of linguistic convergence and divergence

Royal Society Open Science, 7, 201682 (2020)

Sociolinguistic identity maintenance can be understood as a population game with nonlinear fitness.

Open access: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.201682

Stable variation in multidimensional competition

The Determinants of Diachronic Stability (Benjamins) (2019)

Stable variation can arise when multiple grammars compete.

Closed access: https://doi.org/10.1075/la.254.11kau

Preprint: https://arxiv.org/abs/2003.06265

Deriving the Constant Rate Effect

Henri Kauhanen & George Walkden

Natural Language & Linguistic Theory, 36(2), 483–521 (2018)

The Constant Rate Effect, or something like it, arises from the interplay of variational learning and production biases.

Open access: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11049-017-9380-1

Neutral change

Journal of Linguistics, 53(2), 327–358 (2017)

Changes can be well-behaved even if they are selectively neutral.

Closed access: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022226716000141

Preprint: papers/neutral-change.pdf


Language structure is influenced by the proportion of non-native speakers: a reply to Koplenig (2019)

Henri Kauhanen, Sarah Einhaus & George Walkden


When non-vehicular languages for which no direct estimate of L2 speaker proportion exists are treated as missing data, a correlation between the proportion of L2 speakers and language complexity is found.

Preprint: https://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/006627


Individual and population in language change: mathematical explorations of the acquisition–use loop


PhD Thesis in Linguistics, The University of Manchester

Open access: https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/files/93532746/FULL_TEXT.PDF


Postdoc in the ERC project STARFISH
University of Konstanz

Postdoctoral Fellow, Zukunftskolleg
University of Konstanz

ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Manchester

Akademischer Mitarbeiter, Department of Linguistics
University of Konstanz

PhD (Linguistics)
University of Manchester

BA (Cognitive Science), BA (English Philology), MA (Cognitive Science)
University of Helsinki


I also like music, photography, table tennis, coffee and fountain pens. Here’s a blog.