Principal Investigator:

Eva Wittenberg

I am interested in how the mind assembles meaning, how this capacity came to be, and how it interacts with other cognitive abilities. I investigate the decisions that speakers face when they wrap their messages in grammar. Speakers make structural choices dozens of times per day, and listeners rapidly process them, make inferences about why something was said in a particular way, and create a representation of the speaker’s intended meaning in their minds.

Here is a short CV (email me for a comprehensive one).

Postdoc fellows:

Natalia Jardon

My research interests are primarily connected to the domain of events in language and cognition, and more specifically to the question of whether linguistically well-established primitives such as stativity and change are cognitively available beyond language. I have been working as a postdoctoral researcher at CEU since 2023.

PhD students:

Elena Marx

In general, my research focuses on questions at the interface of event perception and language. I am interested in how temporal relations between events are perceived, how such relations are encoded by language, and what the preconditions in temporal and event cognition are to understand and represent sequential relations between events. In this regard, I am looking into the developmental aspects of event cognition. I started my PhD program at CEU in Fall 2021.

Oliwia Iwan:

I am studying general linguistics with a focus on syntax and cognition at the University of Vienna. My background is in general and comparative linguistics and philosophy. In my M.A. project, I investigated temporal structures in Polish past-under-past relative clauses. I will start my PhD program at CEU in Fall 2023.



Xueyi Yao (Icey):

Generally, my interests in research focus on the interface of language comprehension and memory. Specifically, I am interested in how state-change events are perceived, the potential effect of the gradient state-change implicature depending on specific Mandarin verbs on online language comprehension, and the relation of the role of pragmatic implicature in state-change events concerning memory recall. I will start my PhD program at CEU in Fall 2023.



Ebru Evcen (based at UC San Diego)

Broadly speaking, I am interested in the issues at the interface between syntax, semantics, and pragmatics cross-linguistically. My research focuses on how, as language unfolds, we incrementally build representations of the events described by that unfolding language and how speakers develop a sufficiently rich linguistic meaning during comprehension. Currently, I am looking at how people interpret counterfactuals.


Attila Balla

I am a political scientist and psychologist, who graduated from CEU. I am generally interested in political psychology, political communication, and quantitative analysis of political texts. I have been working as the lab manager of the Language Comprehension Lab since June 2022. 






Hannah Grobauer

I completed my Bachelor's degrees in Linguistics and Romance Studies at the University of Vienna. Currently, I am pursuing a Master's degree in Digital Humanities, where I focus on utilizing quantitative methods in the humanities. My academic interests encompass linguistic typology, grammar, and its neurological correlates, as well as literature and theater studies. Since March 2024 I have been serving as a Research Assistant at the Language Comprehension Lab, contributing to many exciting projects.



Tiziana Srdoc

I am a Psychology graduate, currently studying Cognitive Science at the University of Vienna. I am interested in the developmental and evolutionary origins of language, and its interplay with cognition. For my master’s thesis, I am investigating the brain regions involved in the production and comprehension of object labels in 3-year-old children. I have been working as a research assistant at CEU since March 2024.