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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Language, Literature and Humanities

Research Unit


Artemis Alexiadou

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Preis 2014


This research group studies the human language faculty within the generative approach. This approach aims to identify the basic elements from which complex structures can be generated. The aim is to develop a general theory that reveals the rules and laws that govern the structure of particular languages, and the general laws and principles governing all natural languages. Generative grammar assumes that there is a dedicated human language ability, Universal Grammar, which is best studied through formalized models and theories. From this perspective, discovering the rules of language tells us something about human cognition.

The primary focus and contribution of my team has been on theoretical modeling, i.e. providing the computational mechanisms that constitute human language. The Leibniz Prize will enable me to combine expertise in theoretical modeling with cutting-edge experimental methodology and work with multilingual speakers. This will be instrumental in testing the efficiency of linguistic models and promoting our understanding of language and cognition.



  • Humboldt Research Award

We congratulate Prof. Louise McNally (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona) who is currently visiting our group to be awared with the Humboldt Research Award.

  • Doctoral dissertation defense

On October 31, 2018, Nils Hirsch sucessfully (summa cum laude) defended his disseration German psych verbs – insights from a decompositional perspective. Congratulations!

  • Artemis Alexiadou elected member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters

We are pleased to announce that Prof. Alexiadou, head of the RUESHeL group, has been elected a member of the prestigious Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. We congratulate Prof. Alexiadou on this honour.