Edinburgh Research Explorer

Marieke Schouwstra

(Former employee or visitor)

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes


2013-Present - Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Edinburgh

2012-2013 - Lecturer (fixed term), Department of Modern Languages, Utrecht University

2008-2011 - MSc/BA/BSc Thesis Superviser, I co-supervised 3 cognitive Artificial Intelligence students in their MSc projects and 2 Linguistic Students and 1 Cognitive Artificial Intelligence Student in writing their Bachelor Thesis.

2009-2011 - Lecturer. Teaching a full Bachelor Course, Topics in Semantics.

2007-2009 - Tutor. Teaching Various Subjects to Bachelor students of Cognitive Artificial Inteligence: Introduction to Linguistics, Introduction to Cognitive Artificial Intelligence and Topics in Semantics. 


Humans use complex expressions to convey complex meanings, a trait that is unique to our species. Having a background in formal semantics (Montague grammar and dynamic semantics) and philosophy of language, I am interested in how (complex) meaning is best characterised. My current research focuses on language evolution, and shows that concepts from semantic theory and philosophy of language can be successfully applied to gain insight in the evolutionary origins of complex language.

One of the methodologies I use are laboratory experiments in which adult participants improvise to convey information. For example, in silent gesture experiments, participants describe events using only their hands and no speech (see my papers in Cognition and Cognitive Science). I am interested in how the preferences that surface in improvisation change under the influence of cultural evolutionary mechanisms, like communicative interaction and iterated learning (see this Evolang paper and this article in Science magazine of the work with my phd student Yasamin Motamedi).


ID: 10977551