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I am a cognitive scientist interested in the evolution of human communication. My research is motivated by two basic questions: What is language? And where did it come from? I mainly investigate these questions from two angles. First, from a human perspective, I study the function of iconicity – resemblance between form and meaning – in the creation of new symbol systems and their ongoing evolution. I am especially interested in iconicity in spoken languages and non-linguistic vocalizations compared to signed languages and gesture. Second, I study the communication of gorillas and other great apes. My research examines both their capacity for flexible vocal behavior and also their capacity to produce iconic gestures.

To learn more, check out my research page or read some of my publications.

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Last checked 2016-12-26

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