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VARCAS investigates how variation in language is constrained by cognition, acquisition, and social context. We study the reciprocity relationship between choices speakers make in linguistic expression and construing events, and behind that, how the available lexical and grammatical options in a particular language come about in the first place.

Key objectives 

  • To unravel systematic patterns in linguistic variation within and across different types of languages, language users, and contexts of language use and emergence;
  • To understand how different types of constraints interact to explain variation and commonalities in language;
  • To integrate approaches to language variation from psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic, theoreticallinguistic, evolutionary, and typological perspectives into a comprehensive account of language variation.


Two meetings per month, which alternate between a workshop session and a presentation by an invited external or internal speaker.

Coordinator and group members

Suzanne Aalberse <>
Margreet Dorleijn <>;
Monique Flecken <> (coordinator)
Wenwen Guan
Jenia Khristoforova <
Caitlin Meyer <>
Liberty Notarte-Balanquit <
Jeannette Schaeffer <>
Marieke Schouwstra <>
Beyza Sümer <>
Bertus van Rooy <>
Henning Radke <>
Jianan Li <>
Michal Korenar <>
Julia Bacskai-Atkari <>
Owen Kapelle <>

Visual presentation of VARCAS