Dr Hannah Little

Linguist, science communicator and comedian

Lecturer in Communication and Media
The University of Liverpool



Research Groups

Radio and Podcasts

Popular Writing

Babel Magazine

Series on how SciFi has influenced linguistic research and other articles

The Alien Linguist

I'm writing a book about language and science fiction, and alien perspectives.

My literary agent is Alexander Cochran at C&W

Live Recordings

TEDx Newcastle

Language Finds a Way. TEDx talk invited by Newcastle College

For speaking bookings, please email me directly.

Email me

Other Cool Stuff

Never Explain

Comedy Panel Show from Futures: European Researchers Night


At the minute, my research interests include the role of iconicity in language evolution, metaphor in science and technology communication, cognitive aspects of science communication, science fiction and comedy as tools for public engagement in science, and public understanding of data governance and rights.

For research collaborations or more information:

Email me

Selected Publications

full list here

2022 Little, Hannah. The Science Communication of Don't Look Up. JCOM: Journal of Science Communication. JCOM 21 (05), C01. doi:10.22323/2.21050301

2022 Little, Hannah. The use of satire to communicate science in Don’t Look Up. JCOM: Journal of Science Communication. JCOM 21 (05), C06. doi:10.22323/2.21050306

2022 Little, Hannah. What makes good research communication? in Communicating Linguistics: Language, Community and Public Engagement. Price, H. & McIntyre, D. (eds.). Abingdon: Routledge

2022 Little, Hannah, Laura Fogg-Rogers and Ana Margarida Sardo. The Christmas Lectures: Extending the experience outside the lecture theatre JCOM: Journal of Science Communication. doi: 10.22323/2.21020201

2021 Sardo, Ana Margarida, Hannah Little and Laura Fogg-Rogers. Transforming tradition: how the iconic Christmas Lectures series is perceived by its audiences International Journal of Science Education, Part B 11 (04)

2021 Wilkinson, Clare and Hannah Little “We had to be very clear that they weren't going to try to break into any of the cases": what potential do ‘escape rooms’ offer as a science communication technique? JCOM: Journal of Science Communication. doi: 10.22323/2.20010307

2021 Studley, Matthew & Hannah Little. Robots in Smart Cities. How Smart is your City. Intelligent Systems, Control and Automation: Science and Engineering, vol 98. Springer, Cham.

2020 Roberts, Seán G , Anton Killin, Angarika Deb, Catherine Sheard, Simon J Greenhill, Kaius Sinnemäki, José Segovia-Martín, Jonas Nölle, Aleksandrs Berdicevskis, Archie Humphreys-Balkwill, Hannah Little, Christopher Opie, Guillaume Jacques, Lindell Bromham, Peeter Tinits, Robert M Ross, Sean Lee, Emily Gasser, Jasmine Calladine, Matthew Spike, Stephen Francis Mann, Olena Shcherbakova, Ruth Singer, Shuya Zhang, Antonio Benítez-Burraco, Christian Kliesch, Ewan Thomas-Colquhoun, Hedvig Skirgård, Monica Tamariz, Sam Passmore, Thomas Pellard and Fiona Jordan. CHIELD: the causal hypotheses in evolutionary linguistics database. Journal of Language Evolution. doi: 10.1093/jole/lzaa001

2019 Little, Hannah. Communicating Science: Lessons from a Twitterstorm. JCOM: Journal of Science Communication. doi: 10.22323/2.18040101

2019 Motamedi, Yasamin, Hannah Little, Alan Nielsen and Justin Sulik. The iconicity toolbox: empirical approaches to measuring iconicity. Language and Cognition. doi: 10.1017/langcog.2019.14

2018 Perlman, Marcus, Hannah Little, Bill Thompson and Robin L. Thompson. Iconicity in Signed and Spoken Vocabulary: A Comparison between American Sign Language, British Sign Language, English, and Spanish. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01433

2017 Little, Hannah. Introduction to the Special Issue on the Emergence of Sound Systems. The Journal of Language Evolution 2(1) 1-3. doi: 10.1093/jole/lzx014

2017 Little, Hannah, Kerem Eryilmaz and Bart de Boer. Signal dimensionality and the emergence of combinatorial structure. Cognition 168 1-15. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2017.06.011

2017 Little, Hannah, Kerem Eryilmaz and Bart de Boer. Conventionalisation and Discrimination as Competing Pressures on Continuous Speech-like Signals. Interaction Studies, 18(3). 355 – 378. doi: 10.1075/is.18.3.04lit

2017 Little, Hannah, Heikki Rasilo, Sabine van der Ham and Kerem Eryilmaz. Empirical approaches for investigating the origins of structure in speech. Interaction Studies, 18(3). 332 – 354. doi: 10.1075/is.18.3.03lit

2017 Little, Hannah, Marcus Perlman and Kerem Eryilmaz. Repeated Interactions Can Lead to More Iconic Signals. In G. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink, & E. Davelaar (Eds.) Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 760–766). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society

2016 Eryilmaz, Kerem and Hannah Little. Using Leap Motion to investigate the emergence of structure in speech and language. Behavior Research Methods. 49(5) 1748–1768. doi:10.3758/s13428-016-0818-x

2015 Little, Hannah, Kerem Eryilmaz and Bart de Boer. Linguistic Modality Affects the Creation of Structure and Iconicity in Signals.; In D. C. Noelle, R. Dale, A. S. Warlaumont, J. Yoshimi, T. Matlock, C. D. Jennings, & P. P. Maglio (Eds.), Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1392-1398). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.​