One of the goals of our project is to make more people aware of the amazing power and subtlety of even the simplest interactional words. To this end we organise various public outreach activities and write for the popular press.
As featured in New Scientist
The space between our heads
A new piece in Aeon by Mark Dingemanse uses the sci-fi technology of brain-to-brain interfaces as a jumping off point to show how language in interaction makes us human: Why language remains the most flexible brain-to-brain interface.
The piece was selected for reprint & translation in the 2020 review issue of the German edition of MIT Technology Review. Read it here if you prefer German.
Hè? Helpt dat? (How “Huh?” Helps)
We organized a demo of interactive language use at the Kletskoppen Child Language Festival, February 2020. Over 80 kids joined in to discover why they are smarter than robots — and how little words help us do big things with language. Concept & execution by Marieke Woensdregt and Marlou Rasenberg.
- Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant wrote about one of the key ideas behind the project: ‘How simple words scaffold complex language‘ [in Dutch] (November 2020)
- Our research was featured in the print issue of New Scientist (UK): ‘Ums’ and ‘ers’ are a hidden code that helped complex language evolve (October 2020)
- PI Mark Dingemanse was awarded the Young Scientists Award in Humanities by KNAW (October 2020)
- Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad wrote about our work on universal words (September 2019)
- Popular science magazine Quest featured a three-part interview with Mark Dingemanse on language origins, Neanderthal language, and new languages (June 2019).
- What’s so important about words like huh?, oh and um? Steven Smit interviews PI Mark Dingemanse on NPO Radio 1 (Feb 2019)
- Our project was featured in a chapter on “The Netherlands as a harbor for scientific talent” in the Wetenschapsbrief, a policy document from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (Jan 2019).
- De Taalstaat featured an interview with PI Mark Dingemanse about the newly funded Vidi-project Elementary particles of conversation (June 2018)
Mark Dingemanse gave a keynote on intercultural communication at a symposium on integration in Pakhuis De Zwijger, Amsterdam (December 2019).
Mark Dingemanse gave a keynote Homo Interagens at the Drongo Festival of Languages in Nijmegen (October 2019).
At the Sound of Science festival in Antwerp, PI Mark Dingemanse gave a lecture on elementary particles of conversation (May 2019).
In collaboration with Radboud Reflects and with funding from the Centre for Language Studies, Mark Dingemanse co-organised an event The Value of Improbable Research, featuring Ig Nobel found Marc Abrahams and several Ig Nobel prize winners (March 2019).
Mark Dingemanse gave a keynote on language and social interaction at a national symposium for mental healthcare professionals, setting in motion a key aim of the project to share knowledge with practitioners (Jan 2019).