About me

Hi! I am Ana and I am creative in linguistics, comics, writing, and mental health!


I am a postdoctoral researcher at Tilburg University, where I research the visual language of comics in Visual Language Lab. In 2020 I completed my PhD in linguistics at Humboldt University of Berlin (MelaTAMP project) and the University of Melbourne (CoEDL) in the fields of semantics and pragmatics. In my research I created fieldwork-based analyses of Nafsan, an Oceanic language spoken in Vanuatu.

In my linguistic research I try to uncover regularities in grammar and contribute to answering some of the big questions about the nature of language. Which meanings are often expressed together or by the same word in the languages of the world? Why are they expressed in that way? How do linguistic structure, cognition and environment influence the development of the language?

I am currently working on the evolution of multimodal constructions like internet memes and the emergence of abstract and iconic meanings in communication. And now I’m working on the typology of the visual languages used in comics!

Lionel Emil (left), speaker of Nafsan and participant in my research, and me (right) working on Nafsan transcriptions


I am also a comic artist. During the pandemic, I got inspired by my LEGO collection and quirks of linguistics, and started combining the two (see comics below). Soon after I came back to drawn comics, in which I often tell autobiographical stories or jokes about mental health. My latest ongoing comic is Brave Hearts, telling the story of my grandma’s journey to come see the newborn me in a time of war. If you want to receive regular news about my comics, you can click here to subscribe to my comic newsletter! For more info, go to the “Comics” tab.

If you want to repost a comic, please provide a link to my original post, thank you! They are published under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license.

Here are the first two pages of my autobiographical comic “Brave hearts”, which you can read on “Comics” tab or on my newsletter.