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 optimise 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. In our research projects, we examine the three Big Questions presented below.

1) How are language systems structured and how do they evolve?

 We study typological, regional, and historical differences between languages and their varieties, and how social and cognitive factors contribute to language structure, variation and change. View more projects with this theme. 

Girl reading a Spanish textbook upside down

Stress in motion

This interdisciplinary pre-registered study investigates how Dutch learners of Spanish produce multimodal lexical stress in Spanish-Dutch cognates (e.g., Spanish profeSOR vs. Dutch proFESsor).

17th-century Dutch Courant message with "ABC" written across the page in blue

Spread the new(s)!

By investigating the (socio)linguistic factors in the functional implementation of a standard language, this project hypotheses that newspaper were crucial in the expansion of the Dutch standard language.

2) How do humans and machines acquire languages?

We examine the factors and processes underlying language acquisition in first, second, foreign and multi-language contexts by human learners of all ages in naturalistic and educational settings, and we examine the possibilities and boundaries of computers in simulating these processes. View more projects with this theme

Zwarte bril voor laptop. Kevin Ku. Pexels


ATRIUM facilitates access to a wide range of reusable workflows and interoperable, composable services in the Arts and Humanities domain.

Phone with smart technology icons

Smart Technology User Friendly Feedback For Life (STUFF-4-Life)

This project investigates how digital health applications can be made suitable for people with low social economic status.

3) How do human communication and cognition interact?

We investigate the structure, meaning, functions, and modalities of language in social interaction. We examine language processing and communication effects on cognition and behavior in healthy persons and individuals with an impairment, in interpersonal, organizational, and digital contexts. View more projects with this theme

Line-drawing of person looking at a phone screen

Autonomy, persuasion, and manipulation in the digital sphere

Emerging information technologies like large language models and opaque recommendation systems pose challenges to public values. In this theme, researchers from various fields study the current online information ecosystem.

Doctor talking to patient

RAPIDE: Regular and Unplanned Care Adaptive Dashboard for Cross-Border Emergencies

In this project, researchers will develop and test scenarios and care models to organise regular care more flexibly and resiliently during a health crisis.

Participate in our research!

We are always looking for participants. Sign up as a participant in the Radboud SONA system to take part in our lab or online experiments. For further information, please send an e-mail to clslab [at] (clslab[at]let[dot]ru[dot]nl).

Information for EEG/fEMG participants

Please read this information before coming to the appointment. 

Information EEG Information fEMG 


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)

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 organised 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.


Networks facilitate research past the borders of our institute. Many researchers of CLS founded and collaborate in networks, of which an overview is presented below.