Research at CLS

The Centre for Language Studies (CLS) 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. Our approach is to investigate language from single sounds to discourse, including modalities from speech and text to gestures, signs, and images.


A deeper understanding of what underlies language systems, language processing, and language use is what we strive for: we aspire to optimize human communicative interaction by investigating language from single sounds to discourse, from speech and text to gestures, signs, and images. We focus on four 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. 


CLS researchers are engaged in a diverse range of research projects. Presented below is a selection of our ongoing projects.

Discover our projects

Participate in our research!

We are always looking for participants. Sign up here, for online or on campus experiments:

  • Online experiments: Please visit the ROLEG web page for more information. 
  • Lab experiments: Sign up as a participant in the Radboud SONA system to take part in our lab experiments.

More information

For further information, please send an e-mail to clslab [at]

CLS Talks

CLS Talks take place once a month on Thursdays at 4 pm. These colloquia showcase research done within the CLS, with the aim to increase awareness of the ongoing research in our institute, and to facilitate discussions and collaborations between researchers. In addition, we invite a number of external speakers to share their work with us. If you would like to suggest names for speakers (someone else or yourself), please get in touch with us via clstalks [at] (clstalks[at]ru[dot]nl)

If you cannot make it in-person you are welcome to join us via Teams. The Teams link will be sent a few days before each CLS Talk to CLS members.

CLS Talks are open to all interested researchers. If you are not on the CLS mailing list but would like to receive notice about an upcoming talk, please send a message to clstalks [at] (clstalks[at]ru[dot]nl)

CLS Talks are organized by Janine Berns, Sybrine Bultena, Kars Ligtenberg, Katharina Pabst & Laura Speed.

The most recent overview of upcoming CLS Talks can be found here:

Show CLS Talks


The Centre for Language Studies (CLS) is involved in language education and in the Research Masters Linguistics and Communication Sciences and Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies at the Faculty of Arts of Radboud University.