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Dr.' Derya Cokal

Institut für deutsche Sprache und Literatur I
D-50923 Köln

Raum: 2.113

Persönliche Website:

Research focus

Indicative of my interdisciplinary research approach, I have three primary research foci.  

  • First, I design and conduct online experiments (e.g., eye-tracking and EEG experiments) to investigate how anaphoric expressions (e.g., deixis & plural pronouns) are processed and produced.

  • In addition, seeking to better understand whether natural language expressions are always unambiguous in context, I am currently working with computational linguists, machine-learning experts, and game designers to investigate disagreements on anaphoric expressions and whether anaphoric references are resolved in natural-language processing.

  • My third research focus is an exciting international collaboration involving linguists, psycholinguists, philosophers, and psychiatrists, in which we are investigating language usage of people with schizophrenia, their relatives and healthy comparator subjects in the UK and Turkey. By better understanding this disorder, we hope to develop effective cognitive behaviour therapy for people with psychotic disorders.  


  • January 2019- August 2021 Postdoctoral Researcher, Disagreement and Language Interpretation project, funded by European Research Council Advanced Grant (ERC, PI: Massimo Poesio). Queen Mary University of London, UK.
  • October 2020- January 2020 Visiting Researcher, University of Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona, Spain.
  • October 2018 - April 2019 Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Department de Traducció i Ciències del Llenguatge, Spain.
  • April 2016 – July 2017 Postdoctoral Researcher, Language and Mental Health project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC, PI: Professor Wolfram Hinzen) University of Durham, Durham, UK.
  • April 2016July 2017 Visiting Clinical Researcher, Newcastle University, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, UK.
  • June 2015April 2016 Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Edinburgh, UK, Psychology Department.
  • April 2015 – March 2016 Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California, Davis, US, Psychology Department.
  • September 2013 – April 2015 Postdoctoral Researcher, University of South Carolina, US, Institute of Brain and Mind.
  • January 2009 – January 2012 Visiting PhD Student, Edinburgh University, Psychology Department.
  • September 2002 – August 2013 Research Assistant, Middle East Technical University, Department of Foreign Languages, Turkey, Ankara.


  • Çokal, D., & Sturt, P., (2022). The real-time status of strong and weak islands. PLOS ONE.
  • Çokal, D., Sturt, P., & Ferreira, F. (2021). Processing of discourse anaphors by L2 speakers of English. Dialogue and Discourse, 12(2), 38-80.
  • ​Schroeder, K., Durrleman, S., Çokal, D., Delgado, S.A., Marin, A.M., & Hinzen, W. (2021). Relations between intentionality, theory of mind, and complex syntax in autism spectrum conditions and typical development. Cognitive Development.
  • Poesio, M., Yu, j., Paun, S., Çokal, D., Aloraini, A, & Haber, J. (in press). Computational Models of Anaphora. Annual Review of Linguistics.
  • Çokal, D., Zeyrek, D., & Sanders, T. J. M. (2020). Subjectivity and objectivity in Turkish causal connectives? The results from a first corpus study on çünkü and için. In Zeyrek, D. &  Özge, U. (Eds.) Discourse structure and meaning: the view from Turkish (pp.223-247). de Gruyter Mouton: Trends in Linguistics.
  • Little, B., Gallagher, P., Zimmerer, V., Varley, R., Douglas, M., Spencer, H., Çokal, D., Deamer, F., Turkington, D., Ferrier, N., Varley, R., Hinzen, W., & Watson, S. (2019). Language in Schizophrenia and Aphasia: the relationship with non-verbal cognition and thought disorder. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 389-405.
  • Çokal, D., Zimmerer, V., Turkington, D.,  Ferrier, N., Varley, R., Watson, S. & Hinzen, W. (2019). Disturbing the rhythm of thought: speech pausing patterns in schizophrenia, with and without formal thought disorder. PLOS
  • Çokal, D. (2019). Discourse Deixis and Anaphora in L2 Writing. Dilbilim Araştırmaları, 241-277. Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Yayınevi, İstanbul. 
  • Çokal, D.,  Zimmerer, V., Varley, R., Watson, S. & Hinzen, W. (2019). Comprehension of embedded clauses in schizophrenia with and without formal thought disorder. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 207 (5), 384-392.
  • Çokal, D., Sevilla, G., Jones, W.S., Zimmerer, V.,  Deamer, F.,  Douglas, M., Spencer, H., Turkington, D.,  Ferrier, N., Varley, R., Watson, S. & Hinzen, W. (2018). The Language Profile of Formal Thought Disorder. npj: schizophrenia -Nature subgroup.
  • Çokal, D., Sturt, P. & Ferreira, F. (2018). L2 referent representation in processing and production. Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of Cognitive Science Society.
  • Çokal, D., & Sturt, P. (2017). The effect of referring expression on antecedent-grouping choice in plural reference resolution. Discourse Processes. In honor of Tony Sanford.pdf
  • Çokal, D., Sturt, P., & Ferreira, F. (2016). Processing of It and This in Written Narrative DiscourseDiscourse Processespdf
  • Ferreira, F. &  Çokal, D. (2015). Sentence Processing. In G. Hickok, & S. Small (Eds.). Neurobiology of Language. Elsevier. .pdf
  • Çokal, D., Sturt, P., & Ferreira, F. (2014). Deixis:  This and That in Written Narrative DiscourseDiscourse Processes, 51(3), 201-229. .pdf