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!)

Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. program at CEU in Fall 2021.

Alper Demircan

 I am interested in what role language plays in our social interactions and how we share intentions and our representations through our social interactions with linguistic interplay. I am also interested in the nature of these representations and how we build them not only within themselves but also via social interaction. I am a constant reader of philosophy of mind and science and a life-long learner of the clarinet. I started my Ph.D. in Fall 2022 as a part of LCL. 


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.

Maria Tsilimos (visiting from the University of Zurich)

My Ph.D. thesis investigates the cognitive mechanisms underlying the grammaticalization of an ancient Greek adverb ὁμῶς “likewise” to a conjunct ὃμως “but”. In particular, I have measured and classified the degrees of similarity and dissimilarity in the environment of the adverb and conjunct in order to explain that what changes is not the source equational structure “Entity a is like Entity b” but the degrees of similarity and dissimilarity in the two environments. The study employs a novel method of grammaticalization with the use of cosine similarity and machine learning algorithms. Strong focus is given on inferences and analogical cognition. I would also be very interested in investigating my thesis topic with the use of behavioral methods.

Visiting Student:

Oliwia Iwan (visiting from the University of Vienna):

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. Currently, I am working on my final M.A. project, which investigates temporal structures in polish past-under-past relative clauses.



Research Assistant:

attilaAttila Balla

I am a 2nd-year student in the Two-year MA Program in Political Science at CEU. I also hold a degree in psychology. I am generally interested in political psychology and communication, and quantitative analysis of political texts.