I am a Teaching Fellow at Newcastle University, where I’m involved in teaching and research projects with the department of Linguistics and an affiliated member of the Centre for Behaviour and Evolution.

I’m interested in language evolution, social cognition, and other aspects of cognition that define us as human. My work explores inferential processing and its interaction with language in evolutionary, psycholinguistic, comparative, and cognitive scientific terms. I’ve blogged about these topics for a wider audience here.

I am currently course convenor and lecturer for SEL8500 Research Methods (postgraduate), SEL1008 Nature of Language (undergraduate), and SEL1028 Morphology and Meaning (undergraduate) for which I am delivering the Semantics and Pragmatics stream. I am also lecturing for SEL2211 Contexts: Mind, Cognition and Computation (undergraduate).

Topics of Interest:

  • The evolution of (and precursors to) pragmatic competence in humans, cognitive preadaptations for language
  • Mechanisms of inference, the integration of non-linguistic information in linguistic processing
  • The effect of the social-cognitive underpinnings of linguistic communication on linguistic structure
  • Comparative study of inferential and social cognition, particularly vis-à-vis communication systems
  • The epistemology of frameworks within cognitive science and evolutionary theory, and models of mind and science more broadly

e-mail: rachael.bailes@ncl.ac.uk