News

Research Profile

My main goal is to answer questions about linguistic diversity with a focus on language variation in word meanings. I have a BA and MA degree in linguistics from the Humboldt University Berlin and am currently pursuing a doctorate at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. I am a language scientist studying patterns and causes of words with multiple meanings. For my work, I use data from language documentation, large-scale databases, and computational methods. In my Master’s thesis, I conducted the first systematic study of body part extensions such as table leg and foot of the mountain. I examined the frequency of 95 expressions in 13 languages and the preferences for underlying analogy patterns based on similarity in shape, spatial orientation, and function. The first project of my doctoral research established the Database of Cross-Linguistic Norms, Ratings, and Relations for Words and Concepts (NoRaRe), which contains 98 datasets from linguistics and psychology across 40 languages including 65 word properties.

Experiences

Doctoral Researcher

2019 - Present
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, Jena.

Project on Cross-Linguistic Strategies of Denotation funded by International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS). The working title of my cumulative dissertation is “Language variation in word meanings: Cross-linguistic patterns and causes of colexifications.” My supervisors are Johann-Mattis List and Stephen C. Levinson.

Research Associate

2019
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

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

Student Research Assistant

2017 - 2019
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

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).

Student Research Assistant

2016 - 2019
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

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

Internship and Student Research Assistant

2018
Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Department of Neuropsychology, Leipzig

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

  • Linking norms, ratings, and relations of words and concepts across multiple language varieties
  • Annika Tjuka, Robert Forkel, and Johann-Mattis List
    Behavior Research Methods. 1-21. (2021)
  • 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 11(1). 1–29. (2022)
  • 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. (preprint)
  • 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. Brill. (preprint)
  • 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 (pp. 23-32). Stroudsburg, Association for Computational Linguistics. (2020)
  • 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, 65–70. Florence, Italy. Association for Computational Linguistics. (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, 195–199. Poznań. Wydawnictwo Nauka i Innowacje. (2019)

    Blog Posts

  • Comparing NoRaRe data sets Calculation of correlations and creation of plots in R
  • Computer-Assisted Language Comparison in Practice (24/11/2021)
  • A list of color, emotion, and human body part concepts
  • Computer-Assisted Language Comparison in Practice (01/11/2021)
  • Adding data sets to NoRaRe - A guide for beginners
  • Computer-Assisted Language Comparison in Practice (11/08/2021)
  • A multilingual body part concept list
  • Computer-Assisted Language Comparison in Practice (14/06/2021)
  • How to review concept lists in collaboration (How to do X in linguistics 6)
  • Computer-Assisted Language Comparison in Practice (15/03/2021)
  • How to organize a virtual journal club (How to do X in linguistics 4)
  • Computer-Assisted Language Comparison in Practice (20/01/2021)
  • Possibilities of digital communication in linguistics (How to do X in linguistics 2)
  • Computer-Assisted Language Comparison in Practice (07/12/2020)
  • A list of 171 body part concepts
  • Computer-Assisted Language Comparison in Practice (28/09/2020)
  • Adding concept lists to Concepticon - A guide for beginners
  • Computer-Assisted Language Comparison in Practice (29/01/2020)

    Talks (most recent)

    Some of my talks are available on YouTube.

  • 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
  • Meanings of body part terms - Cross-linguistic colexifications between body parts and objects
  • 12th Dubrovnik Conference on Cognitive Science (DUCOG), online. Video available - click here

    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 0.2 - Tjuka, Annika, Robert Forkel, and Johann-Mattis List (eds.) 2021. NoRaRe. A database of Cross-Linguistic Norms, Ratings, and Relations for Words and Concepts (Version 0.2).
    Concepticon 2.5.0 - List, Johann Mattis, Christoph Rzymski, Simon Greenhill, Nathanael Schweikhard, Kristina Pianykh, Annika Tjuka, Carolin Hundt, and Robert Forkel (eds.) 2021. Concepticon. A resource for the linking of concept lists (Version 2.5.0).

    teaching

    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.

    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.