Asya Achimova


Email: asya.achimovaspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de

Office Hours: by appointment

Keplerstr. 2, Rm. 286, 72074 Tübingen.

Biographical information

  • Born in Perm, Russia
  • 2002 – 2007 Undergraduate studies at Perm State University, Department of Philology. Diploma in English Language and Literature
  • 2008 – 2014  Ph.D. program in Cognitive Psychology at Rutgers University, New Jersey.
  • 2014 Ph.D. in Psychology, Dissertation advisors: Julien Musolino and Viviane Déprez
  • 2015 – 2016 Part-time lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Leipzig
  • 2016 – 2018 Visiting scholar at Wayne State University, Detroit
  • 2018 – 2023 Post-doc in Graduate School “Ambiguity – Production and Perception” at the University of Tübingen
  • 2023 – 2024 Substitute Professor of Cognitive Modeling, Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Osnabrück
  • 2024 – present Emmy Noether group leader "Socially-relevant pragmatic inference"

Find Dr. Achimova's full CV (as a PDF) behind this link.

Personal website

Research interests

Asya Achimova is working on modeling ambiguity resolution as pragmatic inference within the Rational Speech Act framework (Frank & Goodman, 2012). Ambiguity is often considered to be an unfortunate side-effect of communication that hinders information exchange. However, interlocutors not only employ efficient strategies to resolve ambiguities, but they can also choose to remain ambiguous to watch how their partners interpret ambiguous phrases. Speakers can then reason about which prior beliefs led the listener to a particular reading of an ambiguous phrase. Conversation partners are able to gain deeper understanding of each other’s beliefs and perspectives without explicitly asking about them. RSA framework gives us mathematical tools to model the process of pragmatic reasoning.

Recent publications



  • Achimova, A., Musolino, J., Pasquinelli, R., Butz, M.V., & B. Landau.  Semantic meaning of scalar terms in speakers with Williams Syndrome. Paper presented at XPrag 2022: 9th Experimental Pragmatics Conference. Pavia, Italy. September 22, 2022
  • Achimova, A., & M. Beukman. Ambiguity remains a rare skill for learning about others even when stimuli carry social relevance. Paper presented at KogWis 2022: 5th Biannual Conference of the German Society for Cognitive Science. Freiburg, Germany. September 7, 2022
  • Achimova, A., Musolino, J., Pasquinelli, R., Butz, M.V., & B. Landau. Understanding of linguistic scales  in speakers with Williams Syndrome. Flash talk and poster presented at the 44th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Hybrid conference, Toronto, Canada. July 29, 2022 
  • Achimova, Asya & Martin V. Butz. Social inferencing in communication. Poster presented at the Meaning in Context Workshop at the Thirty-fifth Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS 2021). December 13, 2021
  • Achimova, Asya & Martin V. Butz. Discovering shared reality in ambiguity resolution. Moscow HSE Pragmatics Workshop. September 30, 2021
  • Achimova, Asya, Stegemann-Philipps, Christian, Butz, Martin V., & Susanne Winkler. Referring to agents in an artificial world: The role of predictability. Sinn und Bedeutung 26. September 9, 2021. https://osf.io/wu329/
  • Stegemann-Philipps, C., Butz, M., Winkler, S., & A. Achimova. Speakers use more informative referring expressions to describe surprising events. Poster presented at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Virtual conference. July 29, 2021. 
  • Achimova, A., Ebert-Rohleder, M., Elxnath, N., Geiger, L., Hofmaier, L., Klenk, J., Vollstedt, T., & A. Zirker. Ambiguity in Discourse:
    The Tübingen Interdisciplinary Corpus of Ambiguity Phenomena. Paper presented at the 17th  International Pragmatics Conference, Winterthur, Switzerland. July 1, 2021. Virtual conference 
  • Achimova, A., Eisemann, E., and M.V. Butz. Bayesian preference inference in dialogue. Poster presented at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Virtual conference. 2020. 
  • Achimova, A. and M.V. Butz. Ambiguous descriptions facilitate information gain. Flash-talk presented at the workshop From Efficient Coding to Information Gain: Information-Theoretic Principles in Models of Human Decision Making held at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Virtual conference. 2020.