I study the emergence of language by looking at 'simple language' in 'improvisation situations', most recently in lab experiments where people are asked to communicate
about simple events by using only gesture and no speech. My aim is to show that semantic structures play a role in the emergence of early forms of syntax.
At the same time, I am interested in conceptual issues that come up when the emergence of human language is discussed. What is language?
Is language uniquely human? What is meaning? What is the relation between linguistic meaning and mental representation in individuals?
Research topics I am interested in are:
Evolution of language
Natural language semantics
Philosophy of language
Tense and aspect
Philosophy of mind
On December 19, 2011, my son Gijsbert was born. Here are some photos.
[this site is (permanently) under construction]
[but which website isn't?]