Language and Communication

Language is the primary means of human communication. At Linköping University, we study both the structure and usage of language. 

Linköping University has a strong profile in the research field of conversation and interaction. Apart from spoken language, our researchers analyse bodily communication such as looks, gestures and the use of space; this can relate for example to social interaction in different pedagogical contexts, from the traditional classroom to dance and driving lessons, to gain a more realistic understanding of language as an aspect of human behaviour, and be able to better assess and teach specific language skills to different groups in society. 

In addition to Swedish: French, German, English and Estonian languages are researched. Some researchers also study translation. 

Language research at LiU is also about the relationship between languages, culture and society. For instance we investigate how people's conversation patterns have been influenced by different ways of furnishing the living room over the years, or how the message in oil advertising has changed due to growing concerns over climate change. 

Some people have difficulties with voice, speech, language, swallowing and communication. In logopedics we increase our understanding of the condition, improve assessment and diagnosis criteria and develop reliable treatment methods. Scientists at Linnaeus Centre HEAD generate new knowledge which helps people with a hearing impairment in their everyday life. Human hearing plays an important role in communication with others. 

In computer science researchers study communication from yet another perspective: they develop algorithms and systems to analyse language. Our researchers produce computer models of linguistic processes which can be used for information retrieval, creating easy to read text, translation and terminology work.


Gameboard with chips

Changing the game of consumption

The game is a research communication project that uses large-scale social simulations, megagames, to help groups explore different interests and ideas about transformations towards sustainable consumption related to food, vacations and furnishings.

Older compass against a grey background.

COMPASS – A Research Hub on Knowledge Circulation

COMPASS is a research hub for interdisciplinary studies of  the creation and circulation of knowledge. It is based on the premise that the conditions of this circulation can be approached as a dynamics between forms and norms of knowledge

The Ageing and Social Change research environment

The Ageing and Social Change research environment conducts leading-edge research on key social, political and cultural issues of ageing.



Humour that makes you think – cat research at LiU

Linguist Robert Eklund shares an Ig Nobel Prize with two other researchers for their work on how cats communicate with humans in different ways. The alternative Nobel Prizes are awarded to research that makes people laugh and then think.

Online video calling

High five! It’s possible to create proximity online

Despite physical distance, it’s possible to create proximity between family members located in different places. This is according to a study from Linköping University that has investigated how video calls bring family members together.

Robert Eklund

From computers to cats

Robert Eklund has gone from trying to make computers mimic human speech to investigating how cats communicate. He wants to know how to interpret their miaowing. A common thread that unites all his research is an interest in sound of various types.