Asya Achimova


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

Office Hours:

Keplerstr. 2, Rm. 093, 72074 Tübingen.

Open office hour: Tuesday, 10:00-12:00 Uhr, Keplerstr. 2 Rm. 093 or via email appointment.

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 – present Post-doc in Graduate School “Ambiguity – Perception and Production” at the University of Tübingen

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


Research interests

Dr. 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., Scontras, G., Stegemann-Philipps, C., Lohmann, J., & M.V. Butz. Learning about others: pragmatic social inference through ambiguity resolution. Submitted.
  • Butz, M. V., Achimova, A., Bilkey, D., & Knott, A. (2021). Event-Predictive Cognition: A Root for Conceptual Human Thought. Topics in cognitive science.   
  • Achimova, A., Déprez, V. (2019). Specificity affects determiner choice even when definiteness transfers. In Deborah Arteaga (Ed.): L2 grammatical representation and processing. Theory and practice. p. 12 -- 27, Second Language Acquisition: 136, Bristol; Blue Ridge Summit: Multilingual Matters.
  • Achimova, A., Deprez, V., Musolino, J (2018). Structural asymmetry in question/ quantifier interactions. In Katalin E. Kiss & Tamás Zétényi (Eds.): Linguistic and cognitive aspects of quantification, Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics, vol. 47, Springer, Cham. 13 – 30.
  • Achimova, A., Syrett, K., Musolino, J., Déprez, V (2017). Children’s developing knowledge of wh-/quantifier question-answer relations. Language Learning and Development, 1. 80 – 99.
  • Achimova, A., Staroverov, P., Déprez, V. & Musolino, J (2015). Pair-list answers in naive speakers and professional linguists. In Arkadiev, P.M., Kapitonov, I.S., Lander, Y.A., Rakchilina, E.V., Tatevosov, S.G. (Eds.) Donum semanticum: Opera linguistica et logica in honorem Barbarae Partee a discipulis amicisque Rossicis oblata. Moscow: [Jaziki slavyanskoy kultury] Languages of slavic culture. 21 – 35.


  • 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.
  • Achimova, A., Staroverov, P., Scontras, G., and M. Butz. "Topics take wide scope: An empirical test of a theoretical claim. Information Structure  and Ambiguity - The Process of Integrating Sentences into Discourse." Tübingen, Germany. 2019.
  • Scontras, G., Achimova, A., Stegemann, C., and M. Butz. "The added informativity of ambiguous utterances." Poster presented at Experimental Pragmatics (XPRAG) Edinburgh, UK. 2019.
  • Scontras, G., Achimova, A., Stegemann, C., and M. Butz. "On the purpose of ambiguous utterances." Poster presented at the 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Montreal, Canada. 2019.