Uli Sauerland and colleagues awarded an ERC Synergy Grant to explore the relationship between language and thought in a completely new way. coordinator Uli Sauerland (Leibniz-Centre General Linguistics (ZAS Berlin), Artemis Alexiadou (Humboldt University/ZAS Berlin) and Teresa Maria Guasti (Milan-Bicocca) receive ten million euros from the European Research Council to prove that our thinking determines language. For more than 100 years, scientists have assumed the opposite. The researchers in the project “Realizing Leibniz’s Dream: Child Languages as a Mirror of the Mind” want to investigate language data from children in 50 languages around the world for this purpose. Find the full press release here.

Call for submissions to “Modal Inferences”, June 3-5, 2020 at the University of Enna “Kore” in Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

On June 3rd-5th, 2020 the workshop “Modal Inferences” will take place at the University of Enna Kore, in Siracusa, Sicily, Italy. The workshop is organized by Ilaria Frana (University of Enna), Marie-Christine Meyer (ZAS Berlin), Salvatore Pistoia-Reda (ZAS Berlin/Siena), Jacopo Romoli (Ulster University), and Uli Sauerland (ZAS Berlin). The goal of the workshop is to bring together theoretical and experimental researchers in Linguistics, Psychology and Philosophy, working on deepening our understanding of modal inferences (e.g. inferences about the epistemic state of the speaker or the addressee) and how they arise in natural languages. We welcome submissions articulating empirical and theoretical issues on topics including but not limited to ignorance inferences arising from disjunctions, modified numerals and related constructions, speaker/hearer’s epistemic biases in polar questions, epistemic inferences arising from the future tense, evidentials, indefinites, discourse particles, miratives, and predicates of personal taste. Deadline for submissions is February 15th, 2020. More details and the call for papers can be found here.

Program published. Workshop “Contrasting Underspecification and Overspecification of Discourse relations” to be held at ZAS Berlin, September 25-26, 2019

The program of the workshop “Contrasting Underspecification and Overspecification of Discourse relations” to be held at ZAS Berlin, September 25-26, 2019, is online now. The workshop is organized by Anton Benz (SiGames, ZAS), Oliver Bott (CiC, Tübingen), Mingya Liu (SPOCC, Osnabrück) and Torgrim Solstad (ZAS Berlin). Registration is required by September 23rd. Details can be found here. at Sinn und Bedeutung 24 in Osnabrück

Not only does the organizering team include Michael Franke and Mingya Liu, but there are also many contributions by other members at Sinn und Bedeutung 24 (SuB 24) to be held at the University of Osnabrück on September 4-7, 2019.

On September 4, at 11:00 p.m. associate Stephanie Solt (ZAS Berlin) will give a talk together with Andrea Beltrama and Heather Burnett (both Paris 7) on “The Effect of Precision and Context on Social Perception”. At 2:30 p.m. Malte Zimmermann, principal investigator of project EXQ in Potsdam will give a talk together with Mareike Philipp (Potsdam) on “Empirical Investigations on Quantifier Scope Ambiguities in German”. At 3:45 p.m. Alexander Wimmer from project ObTrEx in Tübingen will talk on “Counterfactual wishing as multiple agreement”. At 4:30 p.m. Cornelia Ebert, one of the principal investigators of project PSIMS will give a talk together with Christian Ebert and Robin Hörnig on “Demonstratives as Dimension Shifters”.

On September 5, at 11:45 p.m. there will be a talk by A. Marlijn Meijer and Sophie Repp form project YesNo2 in Cologne together with Cornelia Loos and former member Markus Steinbach (Göttingen) on “Affirming and rejecting negative assertions in German Sign Language (DGS)”. At 4:30 p.m. associates Chao Sun (HU Berlin) and Richard Breheny (UCL) will give a talk together with Daniel Rothschild on “Exploring the existential/universal ambiguity in singular donkey sentences”.

On September 6, at 3:45 p.m. There will be another talk by associate Stephanie Solt together with Carla Umbach (ZAS Berlin) on “Scalar comparison via eher“. At 5:20 p.m. Judith Degen , principal investigators of project Pro3 will give a key note talk on “Overinformativeness? Rationally redundant reference”.

On September 7, at 3:30 p.m. Markus Werning, principal investigator of project BayesPrag@EEG in Bochum will give a keynote talk on “The Interaction of Bayesian Pragmatics and Lexical Semantics in Online Sentence Meaning Composition”.

In addition, there will be two poster presentations with members involved. Malte Zimmermann will present a poster together with Dario Paape on “Conditionals on crutches: Expanding the modal horizon” and Nicole Gotzner form project SiGames (ZAS Berlin) will present a poster together with Kim A. Jördens and Katharina Spalek (HU Berlin) with the title “The composition of focus alternative sets: Can carpets be an alternative to figs?”.

The world’s first summer school on experimental pragmatics was a great success

170 participants and 25 outstanding experts as lecturers made the world’s first summer school on experimental pragmatics a great success. The DGfS Summer School 2019 „Experimental Pragmatics: Theory, Methods, Interfaces“ was organized by the DFG priority program 1727 „“ and hosted by ZAS Berlin. The program was intense: It featured 20 courses covering a wide spectrum of topics in the relatively new field of Experimental Pragmatics, alongside inspiring evening lectures and a Science Speed Geeking event. Of course, the school also included a rich variety of social and group activities, such as a visit to the museum of natural sciences, a city walk, a beach volleyball tournament, and a glamourous farewell party.

Internships in our projects available offers an Internship program for international doctoral students and early postdocs (up to three years past the Ph.D.) to join an project for periods of up to three months. This year’s application deadline is September 1st, 2019!

Applicants must choose and contact a suitable host for the time of the internship in advance. Any PI of a current project in Germany is eligible to act as supervisor. Beyond meeting with the supervisor on a regular basis successful candidates will be offered additional support in the form of adequate workspace and access to equipment as well as funding for experiments. will fund the travel of the intern to and from Germany up to 1500€ and a stipend of monthly 1000€.

For more information about, an overview of participating projects and contact data of principal investigators visit:


Please submit a 2-page (maximum) personal statement including an outline of your ideas together with a working plan for the internship. Additionally, please provide your CV, sample writings, and two letters: one letter of commitment of the potential hosting institution in which the host commits to provide adequate workspace. In a second letter the potential supervisor needs to affirm that s/he will act as supervisor and hold at least weekly meetings with the intern and that s/he will provide access to equipment and funding for experiments.

All application documents must be submitted as a single pdf to ein The application deadline is September 1st, 2019 and applicants will be notified by September 30th, 2019.

Applications are evaluated and ranked by the steering committee of with respect to the following criteria: scientific quality, thematic matching of the proposal to the host project as well as diversity matters.

Program published. Workshop on “Asymmetries in Language: Presuppositions and beyond” to be held at ZAS Berlin, July 1st -3rd, 2019.

The program of the workshop “Asymmetries in Language: Presuppositions and beyond” to be held at ZAS Berlin, July 1st-3rd 2019, is online now. The workshop is organized by Matthew Mandelkern (University of Oxford), Jacopo Romoli (Ulster University), Uli Sauerland (ZAS) and Florian Schwarz (UPenn). Registration is required by June 23rd. Details can be found here.

Program Published: XPRAG Conference 2019 in Edinburgh. Register today!

We are pleased to announce the schedule for XPRAG 2019, the 8th Biennial Experimental Pragmatics conference, taking place from 19-21 June at the University of Edinburgh:

Registration is now open via:

Early registration (and dinner registration) ends on 17 May.

XPRAG brings together researchers from linguistics, psychology, philosophy, neuroscience and related fields who work on pragmatic phenomena using experimental methods. The conference will be preceded by a workshop on Interaction and the Evolution of Linguistic Complexity (18 June 2019):

Invited Speakers:

  • Judith Degen (Stanford University)
  • Vera Demberg (Universität des Saarlandes)
  • Gerhard Jäger (Universität Tübingen)
  • Gina Kuperberg (Tufts University)