Postdoctoral Scholars

Anouk Dieuleveut

Anouk Dieuleveut



Anouk Dieuleveut is a postdoc in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Geneva, working with Isabelle Charnavel on her project on bound indexicals.

Before coming to Geneva, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Laboratoire de Linguistique Formelle in Paris, working on a project funded by the Fyssen foundation about the acquisition of modals in French. She completed her PhD at the University of Maryland (USA) under the supervision of Valentine Hacquard and Alexander Williams. Before, she studied at the CogMaster in Paris where she worked with Benjamin Spector and Emmanuel Chemla, and she was a Course Lecturer at McGill University in Montréal for one year.  

Her work combines perspectives and insights from various disciplines: theoretical and experimental semantics and pragmatics, psycholinguistics, the study of language acquisition and cross-linguistic comparisons. Most of her research has focused on modality: the ways language allows us to talk about possibilities, impossibilities and necessities. Her dissertation investigates when, and how, children figure out the 'force' of modals: that words like can means ‘possible’, whereas words like must means ‘necessary’. In her first postdoc, she extended this work on English to French.  

She is a member of the ModSquad (UMD/NYU/elsewhere Modality Group), of the GRISP (Groupe de Recherche sur les Inferences de la Sémantique et Pragmatique), and of the ad-hoc reading group in Paris. She is also engaged in a few other theoretical and experimental projects: 

- The AMMMY project, together with researchers at the University of Cologne and Université de Caen. The project investigates the respective role of prosodic and contextual cues in speech act interpretation in French "tu peux..." ('can you/you can...') sentences.

- She's been working with Annemarie van Dooren on various projects, including a corpus study of how children figure out the 'flavor' dimension of modals in English, and an experimental study of the interpretation of past epistemic modal sentences in English, Dutch and French. 

- She's working on so-called Actuality Entailments, specifically understanding why they can arise in the present but only when ability modals combine with perception verbs.

- She's collaborating with Ailis Cournane on a behavioral experiment on English children comprehension of modals, run at NYU Child's Lab.  

Personal website: 

Representative publications:

- Anouk Dieuleveut. ‘Can you see? Actuality Entailments in the present.’ To appear in Journal of Semantics.

- Anouk Dieuleveut, Annemarie van Dooren, Ailís Cournane & Valentine Hacquard (2022). ‘Finding the force: How children discern possibility and necessity modals.’ Natural Language Semantics 30, 269–310 

- Anouk Dieuleveut, Emmanuel Chemla, and Benjamin Spector (2019). “Distinctions between primary and secondary scalar implicatures.” Journal of Memory and Language 106: 150-171

Postdoctoral Scholars