music, language and cognitive science


Associate professor
Department of English

Researcher, head
University of Niš, Serbia

2012/2013 (fall semester) visiting researcher
Freiburg, Germany

2010/2011 Fulbright visiting scholar
Case Western Reserve University

View my papers on the Social Science Research Network

Learn about Niš, the city of Constantine the Great

See what Niš looks like.


Ph.D., Linguistics, 2007, University of Niš, Serbia
"Optimality and Metaphor Theory in Music and Language Cognition"
MA, Linguistics, 2003, University of Niš, Serbia
"A Comparative Analysis of Music and Language Perception"
BA, English, 1999, University of Niš, Serbia

Learn more about me

An article about my research in Case Western Reserve's The Daily


I am contributing to a special issue of Musicae Scientiae on conceptual blending and music with a paper entitled Schemas, Grounds, Meaning: On the Emergence of Musical Concepts through Conceptual Blending (pending September 2017). 

My book entitled From Neurons to Meaning: Linguistics in Cognitive Science (in Serbian) is now complete. It is devised as the first cogsci primer in the region, and is expected to come out in 2017.


Antović, M. (2016). From Expectation to Concepts: Toward Multilevel Grounding in Musical Semantics. Cognitive Semiotics, 9(2): 105-138.

Antović, M., Stamenković, D. & Figar, V. (2016). Association of meaning in program music: On denotation, inherence, and onomatopoeia. Music Perception, 34(2): 243-248.  

In November 2016, I was visiting lecturer in the Middle European Master Program in Cognitive Science at the University of Vienna (funded by CEEPUS), and in December I paid a research visit to the Center for Knowledge and Data at the Free University of Bozen/Bolzano, developing a project on image schemas and concept creation.  

I talked at the workshop From Computational Creativity to Creativity Science, organized in the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Bielefeld, Germany, 19-22 September 2016 and also at the Pedagogical Forum of Scenic Arts, Faculty of Music, Belgrade, 1 October 2016.

Antović, M. (in press). Waging War against Oneself: A Metaphor at the Heart of Christian Ascetic Practice, in P. Chilton and M. Kopytowska (Eds.), Religion, Language and the Human Mind, New York: Oxford University Press.

Pagán Cánovas, C. & Antović, M. (Eds.) (2016). Oral Poetics and Cognitive Science. Berlin: De Gruyter. 

Abstracts for two new submitted papers now available: one on common schematic patterns underlying apparently crosslinguistically different conceptualizations of pitch movement, and one on the ways to "ground" musical meaning construction. I presented a talk on the latter at the Second Conference of International Association for Cognitive Semiotics, Lublin, Poland, June 2016. 

Center for Cognitive Sciences hosted a Symbol Grounding Workshop in May 2016, with participants from Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, and the USA. 

Pagán Cánovas, C. & Antović, M. (2016). Formulaic creativity: Oral poetics and cognitive grammar. Language and Communication, 47: 66-74.


Antović, M. (2015). A linguistic construct informs musicology: Ranking metrical constraints in music perception. Facta Universitatis, Linguistics & Literature, 13(2): 77-93

In October I talked at the workshop on Concept Invention and Blending in Music at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece (video). 

In June Naomi Benecasa of Rice University was appointed visiting scholar in the Center for Cognitive Sciences, working on a project on verbal descriptions of musical timbre. 

In March I gave a poster presentation of a paper coauthored with Dušan Stamenković and Vladimir Figar at the International Conference on the Multimodal Experience of Music, University of Sheffield, England.

In late February I gave an invited talk and participated in a workshop jointly organized by the Cognitive and Computational Musicology and Cognitive Linguistics Research Groups at the Artistotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. 


In November I gave a talk at the Central and East European Center for Cognitive Science at the New Bulgarian University in Sofia, and also a SCOPIA videoconference workshop at the Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts (Myrifield, Massachusetts, USA).  In December I presented plans for my future research to colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt, Germany. 

I talked at the Fifth Conference of the UK Cognitive Linguistics Association (Lancaster, England, July 2014) (audio file here) and Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines (Budapest, Hungary, September 2014).

Prof. Mark Turner of CWRU paid a visit to the Center for Cognitive Sciences at the University of Niš (1-7 May 2014). 

I presented a paper at the conference Words and Music II (University of Maribor, Slovenia, 11-12 April 2014) and gave an invited talk on music, language and cognitive science in the Cognitive Science Research Platform of the University of Vienna, Austria, 13 March 2014.


A video of a talk that I gave at the First International Conference on the Science of Creative Thinking (Bologna, Italy, 29 Sep - 1 Oct 2013). I also served on the technical program committee for the conference.

Two invited articles coming out: "Metaphor in music or metaphor about music", for the book "Metaphors We Research", ed by Mateusz Milan Stanojevic, Srednja Europa, Zagreb Croatia; "Waging a war against oneself: A metaphor at the heart of Christian ascetic practice", for the book "Religious Language, Metaphor and the Mind", ed. by Paul Chilton and Monika Kopytowska, Oxford University Press.

Antovic, M., Bennett, A. & Turner, M. (2013). Running in Circles or Moving along Lines: Conceptualization of Music in Sighted and Blind Children. Musicae Scientiae, 17(2):227-243. 

The Cognitive Science Forum is becoming a full-fledged Center for Cognitive Sciences at the University of Niš.

Another article on idiom comprehension and spatial cognition, targeting 7-year-olds, has been published (Antovic, M. and Stamenkovic, D., 2012)

Together with Dr. Cristóbal Pagán Cánovas  I worked  on a project connecting cognitive linguistics and oral poetry, hosted by the Institute for Advanced Study of the University of Freiburg, Germany (October 2012-February 2013). A successful conference was organized 24-26 January 2013. A proceedings volume and two empirical papers are being prepared.

After a successful stay in April 2012, Professor Todd Oakley of CWRU visited University of Niš again, March 14-20, 2013.

My 2012 paper on creationism, evolutionism and cognitive science, written for the Yugoslav Association for the Scientific Study of Religion. 

A paper on the role of visuo-spatial information in the intuitive interpretation of strange idioms  (D. Stamenkovic and M. Antovic, 2012)

A paper on synesthesia in musicians with perfect pitch (with M. Petrovic, V. Milankovic, G. Acic, Proceedings of the 8th ESCOM Conference, Thessaloniki, Greece, July 2012). 

My talk at the Fifth Conference of the German Cognitive Linguistics Association (October 2012, with Cristóbal Pagán Cánovas).


I gave a lecture on Music, Language and Conceptualization at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Zagreb, Croatia (Nov 19, 2011).

I presented a paper at the 2011 Stockholm Metaphor Festival (Sep 2011).

A paper on Conceptual Blending and analysis of traditional South-Serbian songs (M. Antovic and M. Tasic).

My Fulbright research project on the conceptualization of music (2010/2011).

The Cognitive Science Forum  at the University of Niš held its first workshop in  December 2011.

My lecture on Music in Evolution in Development (CogSci 201 CWRU, Nov 8, 2010)

My lecture on The Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CogSci 206 , Oct 20, 2010)

The written version of the colloquium I gave at the CWRU CogSci Department on Sep 15, 2010 

Subpages (1): about me