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Are you fascinated by how we use language? Then join this new research project as a PhD Candidate. You will aim to understand commitments in communication, combining linguistic experiments with theoretical discourse analysis.
By speaking we undertake commitments, obligations to others to act in certain ways. We do this both by performing speech acts and by choosing certain vocabulary. Within linguistics the notion of commitments has popped up in accounts of a wide range of phenomena (ranging from promises to rising declaratives, and from evidentiality markers to transparent free relatives). In our society, issues about commitment come up in the media and even in court rooms.
Despite the central place of commitment in both our language make-up and our society, a true understanding of how we undertake, attribute and avoid commitments through language use is lacking. This understanding is what this project aims to contribute to.
You will perform a series of experiments in which we measure the commitments that discourse participants undertake, as interpreted by the participants of the experiment. We measure this through both explicit and implicit judgments. For the latter, we use inter alia physiological measures such as fEMG. Combined with theoretical discourse analysis (as done in the fields of semantics, pragmatics, philosophy of language, conversational analysis and dialogue modelling), the series of experiments will result in four journal papers, to be integrated into a dissertation.
Teaching related tasks may be part of your responsibilities, constituting up to 10% of your appointment.
Fixed-term contract: You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).
Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen
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