Institut für Kognitionswissenschaft

Institute of Cognitive Science

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Psycholinguistics/Neurolinguistics and Pragmatics


Prof. Dr. Nicole Gotzner

Institute of Cognitive Science

Wachsbleiche 27

49090 Osnabrück

Room: 50/103


Welcome to the SPA!

What do we study?

How do people infer meanings that go beyond what is literally encoded? What are the involved linguistic, pragmatic and cognitive mechanisms? How do children acquire language, meaning and concepts? How do groups form communicative strategies? At SPA Lab, we address these questions using a variety of experimental techniques as well as theoretical and computational modeling tools. We work with adults, children, clinical populations and data from corpora (e.g., negotiation situations). The topics we work on include but are not limited to the following: pragmatic inferences, irony, politeness, adjective meaning, scales, degrees, numerals, negation, modality, information structure and dialog.

Which research methods do we use?

  • Web-based experiments (PCIBex) 
  • Behavioural experiments with children in the lab 
  • Eyetracking 
  • EEG 
  • Computational modeling (e.g. Rational Speech Act modeling)
  • Formal semantics and pragmatics

Prof. Dr. Nicole Gotzner

About (CV)

I am a formal and experimental linguist. Before coming to Osnabrück University, I was an Emmy Noether group leader at the University of Potsdam, I held a replacement professorship at Humboldt University (Berlin) and a postdoc position at ZAS (Berlin), funded by the Priority Program I was a visiting researcher at Macquarie University (Sydney) and Stanford (Palo Alto). Currently, I am an honorary fellow at UCL (London) and Ulster University (Belfast).  

I am the co-editor in chief of Palgrave Studies in Pragmatics, Language and Cognition and a member of the Editorial Board of Glossa: Psycholinguistics.

You can find full lists of my publications on my personal website and google scholar page

My lab is co-funded by multiple DFG grants (e.g., Emmy Noether grant). In 2022, I received the Heinz Maier Leibnitz Prize. Visit the research page to find out more.


Public Outreach

  • Newspaper article in TAZ: "Nicht schlecht" kann alles heißen.!5939647/
  • Newspaper article in Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung: Potsdamer Sprachforscherin geht der Vieldeutigkeit auf den Grund, 5.5.2022.
  • Gotzner, N. & Lettieri, L. 18.11.23, When children are more logical than adults, Cogsci Space Day, Osnabrück.
  • Gotzner, N. , Kommunizieren mit vager Sprache. 8.5.2021, Potsdam Digital Science Days.
  • Gotzner, N. Sagen und Meinen. Book a scientist, 18.3.2021, Leibniz Association.
  • Gotzner, N. Sprache in Interaktion - Wie Erwachsene und Kinder kommunizieren. Public talk at Futurium, 7.9. 2019. Berlin.
  • Gotzner, N. (2021) Experimentelle Pragmatik. Publication for 25 Jahre Geisteswissenschaftliche Zentren Berlin.
  • Spalek, K., Gotzner, N. & Wartenburger, I. (2014). Small words, big impact: How the words 'even' and 'only' improve memory. Atomium Culture.