News

Research Profile

My main goal is to explore linguistic diversity, especially the variations of word meanings across languages. I integrate findings from linguistics and psychology in my research and adopt a computational approach. I received my doctorate with highest honors (summa cum laude) from Friedrich Schiller University Jena in March 2024 and I am working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. A major achievement of my academic career so far is the development of a cross-linguistic database, which contains rich information on word properties across 39 languages (https://norare.clld.org). In addition, I have investigated the relationship between word meanings in the semantic domain of the human body, exploring the intricate interplay between language, culture and cognition. The key results of these investigations are reported in a study on body-object colexifications published in Linguistic Typology and a study on body part vocabularies published in Scientific Reports.

Experiences

Project on Expansion of Data for Language Comparison and Investigation of Cross-Linguistic Colexifications.

Project on Cross-Linguistic Strategies of Denotation funded by International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS).

Project on Focus Alternatives in the Human Mind - Retrieval, Representation and Recall (FAHMRRR) led by Katharina Spalek, funded by European Research Council (ERC).

Project on Tense, Aspect, Mood, and Polarity systems in Melanesian languages (MelaTAMP) led by Kilu von Prince and Manfred Krifka, funded by German Research Foundation (DFG).

Project on Focus Alternatives in the Human Mind - Retrieval, Representation and Recall (FAHMRRR) led by Katharina Spalek, funded by European Research Council (ERC).

Project on Conceptual-Semantic Knowledge Processing in the Human Brain led by Philipp Kuhnke in the group of Gesa Hartwigsen “Modulation of Language Networks.”

Publications

  • Universal and cultural factors shape body part vocabularies
  • Annika Tjuka, Robert Forkel, and Johann-Mattis List
    Scientific Reports 14(1). p. 1–12. (2024)
  • Cognitive science from the perspective of linguistic diversity
  • Yoolim Kim and Annika Tjuka (shared authorship)
    Cognitive Science 48(2). p. 1–7. (2024)
  • Tipping points of space debris in low earth orbit
  • Keiko Nomura, Simon Rella, Haily Merritt, Mathieu Baltussen, Darcy Bird, Annika Tjuka, Dan Falk
    International Journal of the Commons (Special Issue on Commons in Space) 18(1). p. 17–31. (2024)
  • Curating and extending data for language comparison in Concepticon and NoRaRe
  • Annika Tjuka, Robert Forkel, and Johann-Mattis List
    Open Research Europe 2(141). p. 1-13. (2023)
  • Body part extensions with mặt ‘face’ in Vietnamese
  • Annika Tjuka
    In Kelsie Pattillo and Maɫgorzata Waśniewska (eds). Embodiment in Cross-Linguistic Studies - The ‘Face’. Brill Studies in Language, Cognition and Culture, Volume 34. p. 237–255. (2023)
  • Linking norms, ratings, and relations of words and concepts across multiple language varieties
  • Annika Tjuka, Robert Forkel, and Johann-Mattis List
    Behavior Research Methods 54. 864–884. (2022)
  • Foxes, deer, and hedgehogs - The recall of focus alternatives in Vietnamese
  • Annika Tjuka, Huong Thi Thu Nguyen, and Katharina Spalek
    Laboratory Phonology - Journal of the Association for Laboratory Phonology (Prosody and Speech Processing across Languages and Varieties, Special Issue) 11(1). p. 1–29. (2020)
  • General patterns and language variation - Word frequencies across English, German, and Chinese
  • Annika Tjuka
    In Michael Zock, Emmanuele Chersoni, Alessandro Lenci, and Enrico Santus (Eds.), Proceedings of the Workshop on the Cognitive Aspects of the Lexicon. Stroudsburg, Association for Computational Linguistics. p. 23-32. (2020)
  • Body-part metaphors as a window to cognition - A cross-linguistic study of object and landscape terms
  • Annika Tjuka
    Master's thesis, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. (2019)
  • Tagging modality in Oceanic languages of Melanesia
  • Annika Tjuka, Lena Weißmann, and Kilu von Prince
    In Annemarie Friedrich, Deniz Zeyrek & Jet Hoek (eds.), Proceedings of the 13th Linguistic Annotation Workshop. Florence, Italy. Association for Computational Linguistics. p. 65–70. (2019)
  • Habitual aspect as a property of text spans
  • Annika Tjuka, Lena Weißmann, and Kilu von Prince
    In Zygmunt Vetulani and Patrick Paroubek (eds.), Human language technologies as a challenge for computer science and linguistics. Proceedings of 9th Language and Technology Conference. Poznań. Wydawnictwo Nauka i Innowacje. p. 195–199. (2019)

    Preprints

  • Partial colexifications reveal directional tendencies in object naming
  • Annika Tjuka and Johann-Mattis List
    PsyArXiv
  • Directional tendencies in semantic change
  • Katja Bocklage, Anna Di Natale, Annika Tjuka, and Johann-Mattis List
    Humanities Commons
  • Investigating the variation of intonation contours in Northern Vietnamese tones
  • Annika Tjuka, Huong T. T. Nguyen, Ruben van de Vijver, and Katharina Spalek
    PsyArXiv
  • The representation of foot/leg polysemy in the mind — Insights from Vietnamese body part extensions with chân
  • Annika Tjuka
    In Mateus Cruz Maciel de Carvalho (ed). Embodiment in Cross-Linguistic Studies - The ‘Foot/Leg’. Brill Studies in Language, Cognition and Culture. Brill.

    Blog Posts (Most recent)

    A list of all my blog posts on Computer-Assisted Language Comparison in Practice is available here: https://calc.hypotheses.org/author/annikatjuka.

  • Von Kopf bis Fuß - Wie Sprachen Körperteile benennen
  • Thinky & Brain - SciLogs (30/05/2024)
  • How to visualize colexification networks in Cytoscape (How to do X in Linguistics 14)
  • Computer-Assisted Language Comparison in Practice (19/02/2024)
  • How to organize literature and notes in Zotero (How to do X in Linguistics 13)
  • Computer-Assisted Language Comparison in Practice (06/03/2023)
  • Cross-linguistic colexifications with body concepts - Metaphor, metonymy, analogy
  • Computer-Assisted Language Comparison in Practice (06/02/2023)
  • The origins of cross-linguistic colexifications
  • Computer-Assisted Language Comparison in Practice (16/01/2023)
  • Computer-Assisted Language Comparison in Practice. Volume 5
  • Johann-Mattis List and Annika Tjuka (eds.)
    Humanities Commons (2022)
  • Blog post style guide
  • Computer-Assisted Language Comparison in Practice (09/05/2022)
  • A concept list for the study of semantic extensions from body to objects
  • Computer-Assisted Language Comparison in Practice (04/04/2022)
  • Extending the list of color, emotion, and human body part concepts
  • Computer-Assisted Language Comparison in Practice (28/02/2022)

    Invited Talks

    A list of all my talks including links to slides is available here: https://annikatjuka-talks.github.io/. For videos, check out my YouTube channel.

  • If a car had feet, where would they be? Using the body as an analogy to name object parts
  • Current Topics in General Linguistics – Research Colloquium at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

    Talks (most recent)

    A list of all my talks including links to slides is available here: https://annikatjuka-talks.github.io/. For videos, check out my YouTube channel.

  • Body-part extensions from a cross-linguistic perspective
  • 9th International Conference of the German Cognitive Linguistics Association
  • Comparing word properties across languages - A case study on ratings for arousal and valence
  • with contributions by Robert Forkel, and Johann-Mattis List
    2nd Words in the World (WoW) International Conference, Canada, online. Video available - click here
  • Patterns of body-object colexifications across languages
  • Emerging Topics in Typology conference, University of Helsinki, Finland, online
  • The face of the moon - Body part extensions in Vietnamese
  • 3rd Cultural Linguistics International Conference (CLIC-2021), online

    Outreach Activities

  • One body, many words - Linguistic diversity as a window into the mind
  • Three Minute Thesis competition ('3MT). Jena, Germany
  • Was wäre, wenn du jede Sprache auf der Welt sprechen könntest?
  • Quantum Entanglement - Science and Music Open Air. Leipzig, Germany

    Projects

    Body-part metaphors as a window to cognition - A cross-linguistic study of object and landscape terms (Master’s Thesis) - A systematic typological study of body-part metaphors in object and landscape terms. The study consisted of 53 pictures illustrating object and landscape parts which were based on 93 body-part metaphors. The analysis showed that some metaphors are far more consistent across languages than others. For example, ‘leg of the chair/table’ is present throughout the whole language sample.
    Computer-Assisted Language Comparison (CALC, Affiliate) - A computer-assisted framework for historical linguistics, which we apply to address key questions in historical linguistics, linguistic typology, and human cognition.
    Focus Alternatives in the Human Mind - Retrieval, Representation and Recall (FAHMRRR, Project Member) - In our project, we use a variety of experimental methods. That is, speakers of German solve language tasks (mostly computer-based), and we measure how quickly and accurately they can solve these tasks. Sometimes, we also measure their brain waves (with electroencephalography, EEG for short) or the involvement of certain brain areas in the language tasks (with functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI for short).
    MelaTAMP (Project Member) - We explore corpus data from seven Oceanic languages of Melanesia, which have been known to be mood-prominent, for an areal typological study of their TAMP systems.

    Databases

    NoRaRe 1.0 - Tjuka, Annika, Robert Forkel, and Johann-Mattis List (eds.) 2022. NoRaRe. A database of Cross-Linguistic Norms, Ratings, and Relations for Words and Concepts (Version 1.0).
    Concepticon 3.0 - List, Johann-Mattis, Annika Tjuka, Christoph Rzymski, Simon Greenhill, and Robert Forkel (eds.) 2022. Concepticon. A resource for the linking of concept lists (Version 3.0).

    teaching

    Seminar for Bachelor students

    Winter Semester 2023/24
    University of Passau, Germany.

    Introductory course for Bachelor students

    Winter Semester 2022/23
    Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

    Workshop for Master and PhD students

    September 2022
    Semantic Shifts Summer School, Fréjus, France.

    Title: Computer-assisted approaches to lexical typology

    Seminar for Bachelor students

    Winter Semester 2021/22
    Friedrich Schiller University, Department of English Studies, Jena, online.

    Lecture for Master and PhD students

    August 2021
    SHH Summer School - A doorway to human history, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, online.

    Title: Computer-assisted approaches to lexical typology

    Class for Master and PhD students

    August 2021
    SHH Summer School - A doorway to human history, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, online.

    Title: Bayesian Phylogenetic Linguistics. Video available - click here

    Seminar for Bachelor students

    Summer Semester 2021
    Friedrich Schiller University, Department of English Studies, Jena, online.

    Seminar for Bachelor students

    Winter Semester 2021/22
    Friedrich Schiller University, Department of English Studies, Jena, online.

    Bookshelf

    I noticed that many people spend quite some time inspecting the books on a person’s shelf. I am no exception. A bookshelf is a great opportunity to find out what someone is interested in and can be a useful conversation starter. So with this collection, I would like to invite you to browse through my favourite books.

    • View my bookshelf here.