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OnderzoekOnderzoek Faculteit der LetterenOnderzoeksinstitutenCenter for Language and CognitionResearchDiscourse and Communication

Discourse and Communication

Toren van Babel

This group combines research in pragmatic discourse analysis with the study of communication in institutional settings, i.e., in and around organisations, in the media, and on the Internet. The research focuses on the use of language and non-verbal semiotic systems in specific, esp. institutional and intercultural, communicative contexts, including face-to-face interactions, telephone conversations, written, visual, and audio-visual communication. Interactions are considered as situated, culture- and context-sensitive joint actions of the participants. Media are analysed in terms of their specific functionalities such as semiotic capacities, interactivity, and permanency. Cultural factors studied include institutional roles, ethnic, geographical, and socio-economic background, as well as gender. Special attention is paid to communication in professional settings, e.g., health communication, organisational communication, and media communication.

Interactive Discourse

We study the situated joint construction of discourse by analyzing corpora of institutional interactions and everyday conversations, including historical data. We focus on lexical, grammatical, prosodic, and non-verbal information and patterns of sequential organization. For a systematic account of the linguistic resources and their use in interaction, we envisage close collaboration with the CLCG Computational Linguistics and Syntax and Semantics groups. Specific hypotheses arising from our analytical results will be tested with psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic (ERP and/or fMRI) experiments.

Text and Context

We will investigate textual structures and the processing of spoken and written monologue discourse by analyzing corpora and performing experiments. We focus on contextually enriched interpretations, framing, and coherence to gain insight into the interaction of linguistic resources with world knowledge and context. On this basis we will formulate design principles and develop methods for the evaluation and optimization of texts (possibly in collaboration with the CLCG Language and Literacy Development over the Life Span (LANSPAN) group).

Mediated communication

The semiotics and practices of mediated communication will be studied with discourse analysis and experimentation. We will investigate the multimodal composition of media representations, the role of the physical realization of messages, and the exploitation of media affordances. This research will contribute to a theory of multimodal document design. One of its applications will be the development of pictorial information materials for the language-impaired or illiterate (in collaboration with the Expertisecentrum voor Taal, Onderwijs en Communicatie).

Communication and culture

Drawing on the ongoing research in interaction, text, and mediated communication, we study the ways in which cultural identities are constituted and negotiated. We focus on ethnicity, gender, and power, and investigate leadership, intercultural communication, institutional image management, and the historical and evolutionary roots of human symbolic interaction. We will seek collaboration with the CLCG Language and Literacy Development over the Life Span (LANSPAN) group, esp. when second-and foreign-language proficiency are at issue.

Laatst gewijzigd:04 juni 2014 12:43
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