Barend Beekhuizen

Assistant Professor, Linguistics
Language Studies

Graduate Appointment: Graduate Linguistics Program and Graduate Computer Science (status only)

Barend is a computational linguist with an interest in developing computational models of word meaning. His primary focus is on the ways in which languages vary in the way they categorize the world with their words, how this variation can inform us about the mental representation of categories, and how such categories are used in discourse. In his research, he uses translated and non-translated cross-linguistic corpus data, as well spontaneously produced data, such as conversational spoken language and social media corpora. 

Current Courses

  • LIN240 (Computer Programming for Linguists)
  • LIN341 (Linguistics and Computation)


  • PhD, Linguistics, Leiden University, cum laude 
  • MA, Linguistics (Research), Leiden University 
  • BA, Dutch Language and Literature, Leiden University 

Areas of Teaching and Research Interests

  • Computational linguistics 
  • Lexical semantics and pragmatics 
  • Discourse analysis 
  • Semantic typology 
  • Contrastive linguistics 
  • Interactional linguistics 

Selected Publications


  • Julia Watson, Barend Beekhuizen, and Suzanne Stevenson. What social attitudes about gender does BERT encode? Leveraging insights from psycholinguistics. In Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, vol. 1 (Long Papers), 2023, pp. 6790–6809. Toronto, Canada. Association for Computational Linguistics. 
  • Beekhuizen, B., & Thompson, S. A. (2022). 'Something that's very American': The Interactional Role of Light-Head Relative Clauses. Discourse Studies, 24(2): 149–167.
  • Beekhuizen, B., Armstrong, B. C., & Stevenson, S. (2021). Probing Lexical Ambiguity: Word Vectors Encode Number and Relatedness of Senses. Cognitive Science45(5), e12943 
  • Beekhuizen, B., & Stevenson, S. (2018). More than the eye can see: A computational model of color term acquisition and color discrimination. Cognitive Science, 42(8): 2699–2734.

Selected Grants, Fellowships and Awards

  • NSERC Discovery Grant, Principal Investigator, 2019–2025, Computational models of word meaning in use
  • DSI Catalyst Grant, Co-investigator, 2022–2023, A computational sociolinguistic approach for studying gender inequities in social media interactions
  • Connaught New Researcher Award, Principal Investigator, 2019–2021, Word Meaning in Action