Kalinowski, Judith

Since September 2021, Judith has been a PhD student in the Psychology of Language research group at Georg-Elias-Müller Institute of Psychology. She is part of the DFG-funded linguistic research training group Form-meaning mismatches at University of Göttingen. Judith is also a member of the Leibniz ScienceCampus PrimateCognition.

Topic of the doctoral thesis

In the computational part of her work, she investigates (1) to what extent the mappings between word sound and word meaning in children's mental lexicon are arbitrary and (2) whether we can predict which words children will learn next based on the words they have already learned. She uses it data from wordbank to represent children's growing vocabulary in networks using Python. These are then analysed with R. In this sub-project of her dissertation, she collaborates with Michaela Vystrcilová and Laura Pede from the Neural Data Science Group at GAUG. The psycholinguistic-experimental part of her work is devoted to the question of what effect (non-)arbitrary word sound and word meaning mappings have on early childhood word learning. For this purpose, she will conduct an eye-tracking experiment on young children. Judith's work is supervised by Nivedita Mani (GAUG, GEMI), Thomas Weskott (GAUG, Seminar for German Philology) and Alexander Ecker (GAUG, Neural Data Science group).


After Judith completed her double Bachelor's degree in German and Mathematics at the University of Göttingen in 2016, she worked as a language assistant in London for a year. Returning to Göttingen, she acquired the Additional Qualification Interculturality and Multilingualism / German as a Foreign and a Second Language alongside her Master of Education studies. In her master's thesis in psycholinguistics, Judith investigated the utility of two rules of simple German for pupils of German as a foreign language. After her studies, she received a DAAD scholarship to teach German as a foreign language at an Irish university.


Judith is the student representative of the graduate programme 2636 Form-meaning mismatches and the graduate programme BeCog (PhD). Since starting her PhD, Judith has participated in the Python for Natural Language Processing (University of Nancy) and Science Communication Summer School (Leiden University) and attended the WILD, San Sebastian and LCICD, Lancaster conferences. She was also involved in the organisation of The Active Child Workshop and the Social Curiosity Workshop, which both took place in Göttingen. In the winter semester 2022/23 she taught the class Psycholinguistc Research.
During her Master's degree, Judith contributed to the exhibition Lebensgeschichten tauber Senior*innen (Life Stories of elderly deaf people). She has also been writing articles in simple language for the local magazine DURCHBLICK for several years. Furthermore, Judith is interested in science communication and Natural Language Processing and is continuing her education in this field.