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Diversity in Language and Cognition

Language use is greatly influenced by a variety of individual characteristics of the communication partners, such as age, gender, or the linguistic and/or cultural background. A better understanding of the impact of such diversity dimensions on language processing is crucial, since institutions strive for creating an inclusive environment, but struggle with the challenges posed by the resulting diversity. This research focus aims to explore how the experimental language sciences can be enriched by including individual person characteristics. Neuro- and psycholinguistic research on the respective diversity dimensions has been conducted in rather separate research communities. In contrast, scholars in gender studies have stressed the importance of integrating the dimensions and considering them in concert. Intersectionality, as this approach is termed, has been applied in qualitative studies on inequality and discrimination in society, but its potential for quantitative studies on language has not yet been discussed. By bringing together researchers from linguistics, cognitive science and gender studies we aim to promote the interdisciplinary exchange about diversity in language.


Activities and Events

Lecture Series "Diversity in Language and Cognition" during the winter term 2021/22

This lecture series is aimed at students of linguistics, cognitive science and gender studies. However, students of all subjects and everyone who is interested are invited to participate. The lectures will mostly be held in English. 


Evelyn Ferstl, Anelis Kaiser, Alice Blumethal-Dramé, Adriana Hanulíková (University of Freiburg)

Introduction to the FRIAS Research Focus and the Lecture Series


14:15 - 16:00

Evan Kidd (The Australian National University, Canberra & Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen)

Individual differences in first language acquisition


14:15 - 16:00

Nina Degele & Andrea zur Nieden (University of Freiburg)

Intersectionality as a sensitizing concept. Dealing with classifications in social and life sciences


14:15 - 16:00

Karolina Hansen (University of Warsaw)

Diversity in language: Impressions based on accent and ethnic appearance


14:15 - 16:00

Holger Mitterer (University of Malta)

Stereotypes may help you when listening to speech


14:15 - 16:00

Shiri Lev-Ari (Royal Holloway, University of London)

How individuals’ social networks shape their linguistic abilities


14:15 - 16:00

Savithry Namboodiripad (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

Beyond WISPy languages and Native Speakers: What transcending disciplinary boundaries can do for psycholinguistics


14:15 - 16:00


More information


Members of the Research Focus


Prof. Dr. Alice Blumenthal-Dramé

Englisches Seminar

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg


Prof. Dr. Evelyn Ferstl

Institut für Psychologie

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

JunProf. Dr. Adriana Hanulikova

Germanistische Linguistik

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Anelis Kaiser schmal+klein

Prof. Dr. Anelis Kaiser-Trujillo

Institut für Informatik

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg