KU Leuven

The psychology behind number processing

"5", "five" and "*****" are just the same, aren't they? Well, not exactly: while these symbolic and non-symbolic notations refer to the same magnitude, our brain processes the digit "5", the word "five" and the dot configuration differently. Mila Marinova looks into the psychology behind number processing. Such knowledge can help to make learning mathematics easier for children.
KU Leuven

Understanding how we convey information in different languages

Have you ever been stressed because you had to give a presentation? What if we told you that linguistic research could give you the key to becoming a better presenter in any language of the world? Linguist Charlotte Bourgoin (KU Leuven) studies the "information structure of speech" in different languages. Her research can help you better convey information and thus become a better presenter, both in your native language and in foreign languages.
KU Leuven

English loan words: the clash of grammatical constructions

Dutch is full of loan words, such as "last minute" or "lunch". It seems as if it can borrow English words without any limit. But is that really the case? Linguist Marlieke Shaw (KU Leuven - FWO) looks into this by studying transcriptions of spoken texts. A real must-see for fans of the Dutch language.
KU Leuven

Can we be multilingual in our own mother tongue?

There is only one stable grammar, which applies in all situations of language use, right? Not really, says linguist Alexandra Engel (KU Leuven). Her research shows that, depending on the formality of the situation, we use different variants of grammar - for example, you talk differently to your friend than to your boss. In a sense, we are multilingual in our own mother tongue.
KU Leuven

How listening to a story can help us diagnose aphasia

One in three stroke patients suffer from aphasia, a language disorder, and suddenly face problems communicating. The good thing is that with the right therapy their communication can be improved. In her PhD, Jill Kries (KU Leuven) is developing an automatic, fast, and precise method for diagnosis drawing on audio stories, EEG, and an algorithm.

KU Leuven

Language recovery after a stroke

Can you recover from aphasia after a stroke? And how long does it take? At the moment no doctor can immediately answer these questions. Klara Schevenels (KU Leuven) wants to give patients with aphasia after a stroke a quick and reliable prognosis so that they have a reliable window on the future.
Van Herck
KU Leuven

Combating dyslexia with audio books

Hearing impairments play an important role in dyslexia. For example, people with dyslexia are less able to hear the subtle sound difference at the start of similar letters, such as the 'b' and the 'p'. By offering children adapted audio stories in nursery school, Shauni Van Herck wants to tackle these hearing problems at an early stage.
KU Leuven

How similar is the vocabulary of different language varieties?

A 'vector', isn't that something for mathematicians and physicists? Linguist Weiwei Zhang (KU Leuven) proves the opposite. She uses vectors to study related words and synonyms that appear in different language variants, such as "subway" in American English and "underground" in British English.
KU Leuven

Language in our brain: the power of analogy

People are very good at making analogies: our brains can very quickly see similarities between two things and then draw comparisons between them. We're so good at it that we do it unconsciously. Marie-Anne Markey (KU Leuven), with the help of Boris Johnson & Jane Austen, explains how this can be seen in our language...
KU Leuven

How do you react to my disability?

In this video, Elke Emmers (KU Leuven) takes you on a speed date with a real plot twist. In her research she tries to adjust the attitudes of teachers, remedial educationalists and other professionals towards persons with disabilities. 
KU Leuven

Indigenous languages: what do they tell us?

Did you know that there are about 7,000 languages in the world? And that more than 2,600 of these languages are in danger of extinction? With every language that disappears, we lose a unique part of the rich diversity that exists in human languages. That's why Dana Louagie studies Aboriginal languages.