Department of Linguistics,

Cognitive Science and Semiotics

The Department of Linguistics, Cognitive Science and Semiotics is one of the nine departments at the School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University.

The researchers at the department are all involved in international and interdisciplinary research. We have specialists who work with interaction (with a focus on conversation analysis or on mathematical modelling), the languages of the world (especially Australian and American indigenous languages, African languages and Danish), semantics or meaning, language change, the language of children, neurolinguistics (language and the brain), communicative behaviour, the processing of ‘big data’, the emergence of new languages (pidgins, creole languages and mixed languages), documenting endangered languages and communication within the health sector.

There are about 12 members of research staff at the department, as well as eight PhD students. We have around 180 BA students on the four study programmes, and around 60 MA students. There is a good number of international students from all over the world, which means that everyone participates in an international environment. 

The Center for Child Language, the Center for Semiotics, the Research Centre for Grammar and Language Use, and the research programme DANTIN (Danish Talk-in-Interaction) are all affiliated with the department. We also have close ties with the following centres at Aarhus University: the Interacting Minds Centre (IMC), the Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience (CFIN) and Trygfondens Centre for Child Research.

The teaching at the department is not only research based, but also research oriented. Students are encouraged to collect and analyse data and to design and carry out experiments, either alone or in cooperation with the research staff. In the best cases the students get their research published. Students regularly present their research to fellow students and staff at research seminars.


Linguistics is the science of language. We research and teach what all languages have in common.

Cognitive Science is about the mind, the brain, behaviour and communicative interaction.

Cognitive Semiotics is about signs and meaning making in perception, art and communication.

Lectiology is about research in reading and writing difficulties in adults.

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Upcoming events at the department

Fri 05 May
13:00-16:00 | Aarhus University building 1441, auditorium 2 (112) Taasingegade 2, DK-8000 Aarhus C.
PHD DEFENCE: Johanne Stege Philipsen
Creative Synergies - On how ideas grow in interaction