Alexandra Bosshard

How did human language evolve? What can the communication systems of different animals tell us about language? About our sheer infinite possibilities to express ourselves vocally, about structure and about meaning?

Invested in these questions, I am pursuing a PhD at the University of Zürich under the supervision of Simon Townsend, Balthasar Bickel, and Paola Merlo (University of Geneva). The aim of my PhD is to explore compositionality in non-human primates. Specifically, we try to decipher the possible origins of this complex concept by looking at primates’ vocal communication systems.

I am part of the NCCR Evolving Language, which encourages interdisciplinary research in their quest to uncover the origins of human language.