Language as key to perceptual diversity: an interdisciplinary approach to the senses

Project: ResearchInterdisciplinary research, International collaboration


This project will open up new horizons in the human sciences by providing scientific access to human diversity. It does so by situating field linguists at the center of an interdisciplinary research framework in which language expertise provides the crucial point of connection between researchers and lesser-known speech communities and knowledge systems. The project explores human perception, a field in which recent research hints at considerable but still poorly understood variation across human languages and cultures. To this end, the project brings together a unique and highly qualified team representing Linguistics, Cognitive Psychology, Geoscience and History of Religion to investigate language of perception in three diverse Language Observatories. Combining well-established methods with novel ones, the research focuses on two fundamental and interrelated arenas of perception: landscape and ritual. Acknowledging that language provides a window on both cognition and culture, the project bridges the gap between psychological and cultural approaches to the senses. The results will speak to a wide audience of perception specialists in different fields, as well as the general public. The program promises to establish the language sciences and humanities at large as key players in interdisciplinary initiatives involving diverse branches of science.
Short titleLanguage as key to perceptual diversity
Effective start/end date2016/03/012021/12/31

Collaborative partners

  • Lund University (lead)
  • Radboud University Nijmegen
  • University of Southern Denmark
  • University of Zurich
  • University of Newcastle upon Tyne


Related projects

Niclas Burenhult & Alexandro-Xavier Garcia Laguia


Project: ResearchIndividual research project

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Related research output

Artin Arshamian, Tina Sundelin, Ewelina Wnuk, Carolyn O'Meara, Niclas Burenhult, Gabriela Garrido Rodriguez, Mats Lekander, Mats J. Olsson, Julie Lasselin, John Axelsson & Asifa Majid, 2021 Jul 14, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 288, 1954, 20210922.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jens Larsson, Niclas Burenhult, Nicole Kruspe, Ross Purves, Mikael Rothstein & Peter Sercombe, 2021, In: International Journal of Social Research Methodology. 24, 1, p. 1-13

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Julia Villette, Niclas Burenhult & Ross Purves, 2021, (Accepted/In press) In: Journal of Linguistic Geography.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Related activities

Burenhult, N. (Interviewee)
2021 Sep 23

Activity: Talk or presentationPublic lecture/debate/seminar

Burenhult, N. (Presenter), Kruspe, N. (Presenter), Jens Larsson (Presenter)
2021 May 27

Activity: Talk or presentationPublic lecture/debate/seminar

Burenhult, N. (Host)
2021 Mar 12022 Feb 28

Activity: Hosting a visitor

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