Ana Werkmann Horvat

Postdoctoral Research Assistant
A photograph of Ana Werkmann Horvat


Until recently, I worked as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant on the Creative Multilingualism project, Metaphor Strand, funded by the AHRC.

I am now an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Osijek, Croatia.


The Creative Multilingualism Metaphor Strand focuses on questions such as:

- Is metaphor a universal phenomenon across languages?
- How does metaphor manifest itself in different cultures?
- How does metaphor work at the interface between cognition, embodiment and language?
- How is linguistic creativity conceptualised, and to what extent may metaphor facilitate creativity?


My role in the project included the design and execution of psycholinguistic experiments, as well as data analysis. I worked closely with Prof Katrin Kohl (PI) and Marianna Bolognesi, as well as with Prof Aditi Lahiri.

Before joining Oxford, I had worked on a variety of different linguistic topics and within various different frameworks. My master’s thesis looked at cross-linguistic variability of metaphor. I have also published work on cross-linguistic differences in metaphorical expressions.

I completed a DPhil in Linguistics at the University of Oxford in January 2018, and my DPhil research looked at the semantics of modal structures. I am also very interested in first language acquisition, and have published work on the acquisition of indexical pronouns.


Selected publications:

Werkmann Horvat, A., Bolognesi, M. & Lahiri, A. (2021). Processing of literal and metaphorical meanings in polysemous verbs: An experiment and its methodological implications. Journal of Pragmatics, 171, January 2021, pp. 131-146.

Werkmann Horvat, A. (2018). Semantic restrictions on modal auxiliary combinations: Evidence from Croatian double modal constructions. Jezikoslovlje, 19(3), 509-532.

Werkmann Horvat, A., Gagliardi, A., and Husband, E.M. (2016) Indexicals in Shifty Contexts: Problems for Language Acquisition. Proceedings of the 40th Boston University Conference on Language Development. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.


Selected presentations:

Werkmann Horvat, A., Bolognesi, M., Kohl, K. and Lahiri, A. (upcoming, 2019). Demolishing walls and myths: Cognitive salience of literal and metaphorical meanings in L1 and L2 speakers. Talk to be given at the 15th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference in Nishinomya, Japan.

Werkmann Horvat, A. (2017). Modal force and flavour as semantic restrictors of possible double modal combinations in Croatian. Conference: 39th Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society (Workshop: "Towards an ontology of modal flavours") in Saarbrücken, Germany.

Werkmann Horvat, A. (2016). On Deontic Modality and Authority in Croatian: A Judge Parameter Analysis. Talk given at 12th International Conference on Actionality, Tense, Aspect, Modality/ Evidentiality, Université Caen Normandie, Caen.

Werkmann Horvat, A., On Modal Strength in Croation: A Judge Parameter Analysis. Presented at the FDSL 11 in Potsdam, Germany, December 2015.

Werkmann Horvat, A., Gagliardi, A., and Husband, E.M. (2015) Indexicals in shifty contexts: Problems for language acquisition. Talk given at the 40th Boston University Conference on Language Development, Boston, MA.