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About our research

Language is what makes us human. The Centre for Language Studies aims to achieve a deeper understanding of the cognitive and social processes underlying language systems, language processing, and language use. We aspire to optimize human communicative interaction. We approach this by investigating language from single sounds to discourse, including modalities from speech and text to gestures, signs, and images.

We focus on four multidisciplinary research areas:

Language systems and language variation
Our analysis of language systems focuses on the typological, regional, and historical differences between languages and their varieties, and we study how social and cognitive factors contribute to language variation and change.

Language processing and cognition
We investigate how the structure, meaning, and modality of language affects language processing and cognition. Our research includes the study of language users with speech, language or hearing-related impairments.

Discourse and communication
In our analyses of the structure and function of discourse in social and organisational contexts, including mass and social media, we study the impact of lexical, grammatical, stylistic, and interactional factors in native and non-native communication.

First and second language acquisition
We study the factors and processes underlying language acquisition in first, second, foreign and multi-language contexts by learners of all ages in both naturalistic and educational settings.