Mariann Proos


Hi! I am Mariann Proos, Research Fellow in Semantics at the University of Tartu. I am interested in how language works, how it's connected to our minds and our surroundings. I work in semantics focussing on polysemy and meaning variation across languages. I have experience with both experimental and corpus-based methods of language research and I strongly believe in methodological pluralism.

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Ongoing things

Twinning consortium MEDAL

Very happy that we managed to secure funding from the EU Twinning measure for the MEDAL (Methodological Excellence in Data-Driven Approaches to Linguistics) consoritum: a combined effort between University of Tartu, Radboud University, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, and University of Birmingham. I was a part of the grant-writing team, the project itself will start in January 2023.

Past things

Lecture for teachers

In April 2022, I gave a short talk about my research to teachers of Estonian as a foreign language. Together with a couple of colleagues, we talked about different semantic aspects of language. The goal is to offer teachers a bit of a different look on language.

Baltic Summer School of Digital Humanities 2021: “Digital Methods in Humanities and Social Sciences” (2021)

I am part of the organisational team of the digital methods summer school, co-organized with the Estonian National Library. The summer school will take place in August (23.-26.) in Tallinn, Estonia. See more on our webpage.

Organizing events in the Arts and Humanities Graduate School (2020-2022)

From Septmeber 2020 to March 2022, I was the event organizer in the Arts and Humanities Graduate School at the University of Tartu. I am happy to be a part of a team that strives to make the whole PhD journey a successful one for all our graduate students. Together with the team we have launched a new event series “Junior researcher luncehon” and continuously organise workshops and study days for our students.

Science in three minutes (2021)

Recently, I had the chance to participate in the “Science in three minutes” competition organized by the Estonian Academy of the Sciences. At a live event that was broadcast on Novaator (the leading popular science webpage in Estonia), I was declared the winner along with 4 other amazing young researchers. My talk was titled “Meaning as a tool for understanding the world”. You can watch the whole event here (in Estonian). Estonian National Television also produced clips with all of the winners which were be played in the morning news / talkshow.

“Open doors” day at the university (2021)

On the 26th of February the University of Tartu will hold an “open doors” day for future students. Each institute is invited to hold a short workshop / information session to explain what they teach and research. I will be leading a workshop “Katsed keel(te)ga” (“Experiments with language(es)” - it sounds better in Estonian) where I will be introducing the Institute of Esonian and General Linguistics, with a focus on the various interesting experiments we run at our institute.

Self-paced reading task (December 2020)

I participated in my supervisor Jane Klavan’s project “The Making and Breaking of Models: Experimentally Validating Classification Models in Linguistics” and ran a self-paced reading task in UT-s lab. Results coming soon!

Eye-tracking task (December 2019 to February 2020)

I helped Nele Ots (Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main) run an eye-tracking study in her project “Planning sentences and sentence intonation cross-linguistically”.

Organizing the ICLC-14 conference (Septmeber 2016 to July 2017)

In the summer of 2017 when I had just started my PhD in the fall semester of 2016, I was a part of the team organizing the 14th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference. My role as the conference secretary was to be there for all non-scientific tasks that were needed. I got to do so many different things and had the luck to work with an amazing organising team. Organising a conference with 500 guests from all over the world was definitely a challenge as a first year student, but I learned so much from it and I will never take a well organised conference for granted again.


Currently, I am teaching an undergrad class for academic Estonian (since spring 2020) and I have a small part to play in the “Experimental Methods in Linguistics” course - I will be introducing the experimental paradigms I have used in semantic research. Previously, I have been one of the three people teaching a course about how to write and present popular science. I have aslo been a TA in the General Linguistics course (from fall 2016 to fall 2019) and given a couple of lectures in the course Language in Use.