What I do

I am a PhD student in linguistics based at the Centre for Language Evolution at the University of Edinburgh, working on lexical dynamics and evolutionary variant selection in language with Kenny Smith, Simon Kirby and Richard A. Blythe, utilizing massive corpora and natural language processing to hunt traces of selection and competition in language. This research is supported by a Kristjan Jaak scholarship from the Archimedes Foundation of Estonia. I am also affiliated as a (part-time) junior researcher with the University of Tartu EKKAM sociolinguistics group, working on data visualization and agent-based models. I am also engaged in teaching and consulting (see the tab above) data sciency things for the humanities and social sciences. On the right is the picture obligatory for all academic home pages to subtly suggest that in fact I do not spend all my time in the office at all.



  • Andres Karjus, Richard A. Blythe, Simon Kirby, Kenny Smith 2018. Challenges in detecting evolutionary forces in language change using diachronic corpora | arXiv preprint | code
  • Andres Karjus, Martin Ehala, 2018. Testing an agent based model of language choice on sociolinguistic survey data. Language Dynamics and Change, 8, pp. 219-252 | Online at Brill | postprint | bib | sociolinguistic dataset: 1000 respondents, 200 questions
  • Andres Karjus, Richard A. Blythe, Simon Kirby, Kenny Smith, 2018. Quantifying the dynamics of topical fluctuations in language. | arXiv preprint | bib | code | recipient of the Edinburgh PPLS Gray postgraduate publication prize
  • Andres Karjus, Richard A. Blythe, Simon Kirby, Kenny Smith, 2018. Topical advection as a baseline model for diachronic lexical dynamics. Proceedings of The Society for Computation in Linguistics. Volume 1. [extended abstract, full paper above] | open access | bib
  • Martin Haspelmath, Andres Karjus, 2017. Explaining asymmetries in number marking: Singulatives, pluratives and usage frequency. Linguistics, volume 55, issue 6. | online version | preprint | bib
  • Andres Karjus, 2015. Through the Spyglass of Synchrony: Grammaticalization of the Exterior Space in the Eastern Circum-Baltic. In: Hilpert, Martin, Östman, Jan-Ola, Mertzlufft, Christine, Rießler, Michael, Duke, Janet (eds.), Advances in Nordic Linguistics. De Gruyter Mouton. | google books
  • Andres Karjus (editor), 2013. Areal linguistics, Grammar and Contacts. Special issue of the Journal of Estonian and Finno-Ugric Linguistics, 4-2. Tartu: University of Tartu Press. | open access
  • Petar Kehayov, Eva Saar, Miina Norvik, Andres Karjus, 2013. Hääbuva kesklüüdi murde jälgedel suvel 2012 [On the footsteps of vanishing Central Lude in the summer of 2012]. Yearbook of the Estonian Mother Tongue Society, Vol. 58. | open access
  • Andres Karjus, 2012. Outdoors on the Shores of the Baltic: Gradience in the Grammaticalization of the Exterior-Region. Journal of Estonian and Finno-Ugric Linguistics 3-1, pp. 209-226.

Conferences & seminars

I am presenting my research at the following venues in 2018:

Teaching, consulting & R workshops


  • I have been developing materials on data visualization using R; these have been used during 2017-2018 in a number of different workshops for humanities and social science audiences, collectively under the name of aRt of the Figure (all the materials and code available here).
  • One outlet for these has been through the PPLS Writing Centre - the dates and booking information are available here. During the semester it’s a 1-hour workshop, extended to 2 hours for the extracurricular summer edition.
  • I am available for booking year around as a written communication consultant via the Edinburgh University School of Psychology, Philosophy and Language Sciences Writing Centre - specializing in writing about and presenting (graphs and figures of) data and data analysis results. This service is available to students of the School only. To book, go to the appointments page -> Book an appointment -> look for my name in the list of tutors in the ‘Select staff’ dropdown menu.
  • In the summer of 2018, I am working with the PPLS Writing Centre to provide a drop-in quantitative research help service for PPLS MSc students working on their theses, see here for dates and details.
  • I am also engaged in teaching stats and R to Edinburgh Uni psychology masters students (since 2017).


  • The aRt of the Figure workshop as a full day session at the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science Summer School 2018.
  • aRt of the Figure as an afternoon workshop for the annual Edinburgh Linguistics Firbush retreat, spring 2018.
  • Developed and co-taught a course on data analysis for digital humanities at the University of Tartu in the spring of 2016.
  • Corpus linguistics using R course for the Academia Salensis summer school of 2015.
  • Assistant for courses on language technology and artificial intelligence, Department of Computer Science, University of Tartu, 2014-2016.

Feel free to get in touch if you are interested in talking about organizing a workshop on anything related to data science and statistics for the humanties, data visualization, R, corpus linguistics, natural language processing applications, digital humanities, etc.

Other things


I currently co-organize the bimonthly Edinburgh Language Lunch. In the past, I was a co-organizer of the Linguistics and English Language Postgraduate Conference of 2017 in Edinburgh, and head organizer of the Why Linguistics Conference (2015) and the Graduate Conference on Areal Linguistics, Grammar and Contacts (2012) in Tartu, Estonia. I also served as a student representative at various boards during my MA and MSC.


Besides research and teaching and consulting and whatnot, I (fortunately) also do other things, which currently mostly consist of dance (lindy hop, salsa, bachata), listening to jazz, outdoorsy stuff (cycling, hillwalking and scrambling), boardgames, and various other things. I also blog about the wonderful oddities of life abroad (but it’s all in untranslatable Estonian).

Before Scotland

Before coming to Edinburgh, I worked as a teaching assistant in informatics at the University of Tartu, before that studied artificial intelligence and natural language processing at KU Leuven (MSc) and linguistics at the University of Tartu (BA, MA). Somewhere in between I also did exchanges to the University of Iceland and the University Vienna, attended a dozen-odd academic summer schools, taught Icelandic to art students and Estonian to Norwegian teachers, worked as an assistant at the Estonian Wordnet project, and did internships at CrossLang NV in Belgium and at the (then still existing linguistics department of the) Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. In earlier years, I worked various studenty sort of jobs to support my studies (not to list them all, but one of them involved swords and another one regularly mowing grass off the roof of a small yellow building).


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