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, write for the popular press, and work with practitioners.

As featured in IEEE Spectrum

The August 2023 issue of IEEE Spectrum features an interview with Andreas Liesenfeld, first author of our latest paper, Opening up ChatGPT. ElPaCO PI also comments on Meta’s “open” (but not open source) release of the Llama 2 language model.

As featured in New Scientist

The October 14 issue of New Scientist features a five page piece on social interaction with a prominent role for the work done in Elementary Particles of Conversation by Mark Dingemanse and Marieke Woensdregt. Read the full piece online or here (PDF).

In conversation with Robert Zatorre

Watch a brief conversation about the hidden rhythms of speech between neuroscientist and musicologist Robert Zatorre and ElPaCo PI Mark Dingemanse, on the occasion of the 2020 Heineken Prizes & Young Scientists Awards ceremony in Amsterdam.

The space between our heads

Writing for Aeon, 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.

Selected for reprint & translation in the 2020 review issue of the German edition of MIT Technology Review. Read it here if you prefer German. Also translated into Turkish.

Hè? Helpt dat? (How “Huh?” Helps)

The Nao bot

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.


(Fuller listing of media coverage here.)


Amsterdams Inburgeringsevent 2019
  • 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).