Dr. Noortje J. Venhuizen

Semantics, Cognitive Science, AI
—It's all about meaning

I am an assistant professor (universitair docent) in the Department of Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence at the Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences (TSHD), Tilburg University.

Short Bio

Research interests

I am interested in formal (symbolic/ distributional/ probabilistic) models of linguistic meaning and how they can be applied and evaluated, using cognitive modeling, behavioral experiments, and computational methods in natural language understanding. Below, I list my current research topics. For more information about my current and past research, see my list of publications.

Distributional Formal Semantics (DFS)

DFS offers probabilistic distributed representations that are also inherently compositional. When used as part of a recurrent neural network, these representations allow for capturing incremental meaning construction and probabilistic inference.
 Article (2022)  Software

Neurocomputational modeling of ERPs

We aim to arrive at an explicit neurocomputational model of the electrophysiology of language comprehension, focusing on the N400 and the P600 component of the Event Related brain Potential (ERP) signal.
 Article (2021)

Rational encoding and decoding

In Project C3 within SFB 1102, we investigate information-theoretic explanations of encoding and decoding behaviour, with an emphasis on the mechanisms that underlie the linearization of referring expressions
 Article (2021)

My publications

  • Journal Articles

  • Book Chapters

  • Backus, A., Cohen, M., Cohn, N., Faber, M., Krahmer, E., Laparle, S., Maier, E., van Miltenburg, E., Roelofsen, F., Sciubba, E., Scholman, M., Shterionov, D., Sie, M., Tomas, F., Vanmassenhove, E., Venhuizen, N. J., and de Vos, C. (2023). Minds: Big questions for linguistics in the age of AI. In Leufkens, S. and Bril, M. (eds.), Linguistics in the Netherlands, 40(1):301-308. John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/avt.00094.bac PDF BibTex
    Recipient of the second prize in the LOT Grotevragenprijs essay contest
  • Bos, J., Basile, V., Evang, K., Venhuizen, N. J., and Bjerva, J. (2017) The Groningen Meaning Bank. In Ide, N. and Pustejovsky, J. (eds.), Handbook of Linguistic Annotation, pp. 463-496. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht. doi:10.1007/978-94-024-0881-2_18 PDF BibTex
  • Brouwer, H., Crocker, M. W., and Venhuizen, N. J. (2017). Neural Semantics. In: Wieling, M., Kroon, M., van Noord, G., and Bouma, G. (eds.), From Semantics to Dialectometry: Festschrift for John Nerbonne, pp. 75-83. College Publications. PDF BibTex

  • Conference Proceedings

  • Software

  • Theses

  • Venhuizen, N. J. (2015). Projection in Discourse: A data-driven formal semantic analysis. PhD thesis, University of Groningen. (Supervisors: Prof. dr. J. Bos and Prof. dr. P. Hendriks; Jury: Prof. dr. N. M. Asher, Prof. dr. J. Hoeksema, and Prof. dr. R. A. van der Sandt; Opposition: Prof. dr. L. B. W. Geurts, Prof. dr. J. A. W. Kamp, dr. E. Maier, and dr. H. W. Zeevat) PDF BibTex
  • Venhuizen, N. J. (2011). Negation in Questions. Master's Thesis, ILLC, University of Amsterdam. (Supervisors: dr. Floris Roelofsen and dr. Galit Weidman Sassoon) PDF

Selected presentations

For a full list of presentations and posters, please ask for my CV. Selected slides and posters can also be found on ResearchGate.

  • Recent talks

  • Venhuizen, N.J. (2023). Expectation-based Semantics in Language Comprehension. Invited talk presented at the CLASP seminar, Centre for linguistic theory and studies in probability, University of Gothenburg, November 8, Online talk.
  • Li, M., Venhuizen, N. J., Jachmann, T. K., Drenhaus, H., Crocker, M.W. (2023). Does informativity modulate linearization preferences in reference production? Talk presented at the 29th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing conference (AMLaP 2023), August 31 - September 2, Donostia–San Sebastián, Spain.
  • Venhuizen, N.J. (2022). Expectation-based Semantics in Language Comprehension. Keynote talk at the Workshop on Processing meets Semantics (PROMS), September 1–3, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
  • Venhuizen, N.J. (2022). Expectation-based dynamic semantics. Invited talk at the Workshop in honor of Prof. Dr. h.c. Hans Kamp, The Dynamics of Semantics: Past, present and future ways of thinking about meaning, June 23–25, Stuttgart, Germany.

  • Selected posters



  • Statistics for CSAI II, BSc., Dept. Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence, Tilburg University. Fall 2023.
  • Bachelor Thesis CSAI, BSc., Dept. Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence, Tilburg University. Ongoing (since Spring 2023).


  • Research Workshop CSAI, BSc., Dept. Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence, Tilburg University. Spring 2023.
  • Semantic Theory, MSc, Dept. Language Science and Technology, Saarland University. Yearly: Summer 2015 - Summer 2022.
  • Foundations of Linguistics: Semantics, MSc, Dept. Language Science and Technology, Saarland University. Winter 2020, 2021.
  • Information Theory (Guest Lecturer), MSc, Saarland University. Summer 2019.

Contact details

  • Work:
  • Department of Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence, Tilburg University
    Dante Building, Room D 133
    Warandelaan 2, 5037 AB Tilburg