About me

LINGUISTIC RESEARCH

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf. 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. After my PhD I also gained some experience in computational linguistics applied to the automotive industry.

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.

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

OUTREACH

I also write on Medium, about linguistics among other things. I also run a Medium publication “Language Explained” in which I publish outreach articles about languages and linguistics. My goal is to explain how language works in a way that is relevant for the general public and any linguistic theories. This publication is open to contributions from other linguists, so if you are interested in contributing with a short outreach post about any topic of broad interest, get in touch with me. Also, consider following me on my social network profiles listed under “Contact/Social” and “Stay Connected”.

COMICS

I create comics in my free time. During the pandemic, I got inspired by my LEGO collection and quirks of linguistics, and started combining the two (see two comics below). This year I turned back to drawn comics, in which I often tell short autobiographical stories or jokes about mental health. 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. They are published under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license.