Congratulations to Katarzyna Stoltmann, who defended her dissertation with the grade Magna cum Laude (very good) at Humboldt University today.
The thesis with the title "Where is the bottle? Cross-linguistic study on side assignment to objects and interpretation of static spatial relations by German, Polish, Italian and English native speakers" was funded by ZAS. In her dissertation, Stoltmann uses among others the mouse-tracking method to investigate how relational spacial information such as "in front of" or "to the left" of an object is understood. The interpretation of such expressions depends not only on the location itself, but also on the nature of the object referred to, i.e. whether it is a round or rectangular table, a cupboard that can be seen from the front or the back, or an animate being (a Dalmatian was chosen for this). In her extensive and complex study with about 200 test subjects, Stoltmann was able to show that the mother tongue can certainly have an influence on the chosen strategy.
In addition to the extensive work on her dissertation, Kasia has also rendered outstanding services to the PhD group at ZAS and the Leibniz Association: From 2017-2018, she was spokeswoman of the Leibniz PhD Network and additionally board member of N2 - The Network of Networks. Today, she is a senior analyst in a software company.