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Özyürek appointed Professor of Gesture, Language and Cognition

Aslι Özyürek (MPI and RU Nijmegen) has been appointed Professor of Gesture, Language and Cognition at the Radboud University Nijmegen. Özyürek was appointed on September 1 and her inauguration will take place in May 2011.

September 8, 2010

Asli Özyürek heads the research group 'Language at our Hands: Gesture and Sign' at the Centre for Language Studies (CLS) Radboud University Nijmegen, where the group's work is largely financed by a VIDI and an ERC grant. Özyürek's research group forms a connection with research at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour and the MPI for Psycholinguistics. At MPI her research is formally connected to the Neurobiology of Language group.

Part of language sciences

'I am very happy with the appointment' says Özyürek. 'I think this is the first professorship in the world given to a Linguistics programme specifically linked to gesture studies and its relation to language and cognition. This shows that this field is "officially" becoming part of language sciences, rather then being considered as "non-verbal behaviour". I think more departments will follow this example in the future, but it is very good for the Centre for Language Studies to be a forerunner of this trend.'


'Of course, the establishment and progress of this research line at the MPI for Psycholinguistics since 1995 has also significantly contributed to this acknowledgement of the importance of our work with gesture' Özyürek continues. 'And so have the huge interest and high evaluations of Masters students coming from CLS, the IMPRS for Language Sciences and the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour in the first classes we have given on this topic. I thank everybody for their direct or indirect contribution.'

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Last checked 2010-12-09 by Myrna Tinbergen
Max Planck Institute
About MPI


The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.


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