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Asifa Majid -


Why is language good at describing some aspects of the world (e.g. the spatial relationships between objects) but limited in describing others (e.g. faces such that we can identify them)? What processes are involved in turning our experiences of the world into linguistic utterances? Language has to interact with a wide range of other representation systems – visual, auditory, haptic, olfactory, conceptual – if we are to talk about the world. My research focuses on the nature of categories and concepts in language, in non-linguistic perception and cognition, and the relationship between them.

I work with a team of linguists, anthropologists and psychologists who collaborate in this program. For more information about my current research activities, see the Meaning, Culture, and Cognition website.

I have been awarded a NWO VICI grant of 1.5 million euro to study olfactory language and cognition across diverse cultures, as well as within specialist communities such as perfumiers and wine-tasters.

Last checked 2015-10-08

Asifa Majid

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
PO Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands