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Selfish discourse SIGNED

Underspecification in spoken and written discourse: interpretation, compensation and cognitive implications

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 Selfish discourse project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the Selfish discourse project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "Selfish discourse" about.

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Project "Selfish discourse" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: EH8 9YL

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 195˙454 €
 EC max contribution 195˙454 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2017
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2019
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2019-02-01   to  2021-01-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH UK (EDINBURGH) coordinator 195˙454.00


 Project objective

'This research project focuses on underspecification, i.e. the imprecise use of words to express meanings which are not fully encoded in the semantics of the words themselves but which rely on common ground and other linguistic cues to be interpreted. I address in particular how underspecification explains the variable use of three French discourse markers and their English equivalents, namely 'et' / 'and', 'mais' / 'but' and 'donc' / 'so'. This project seeks to establish the contextual and cognitive constraints to the production and interpretation of underspecified discourse markers by (i) analyzing their distribution and cooccurrence patterns in spoken, written and computer-mediated English and French and (ii) experimentally assessing their impact on discourse processing. This research thus combines corpus-based and experimental methods, as advocated by cognitivists. According to the selfish hypothesis, underspecification is a failure of recipient design and is thus expected to be more frequent in unplanned speech and computer-mediated writing, where speakers/writers are under higher cognitive pressure than in planned speech/writing. Furthermore, this project intends to show that register-sensitive patterns of co-occurrence constitute compensatory strategies designed to minimize the potentially detrimental effect of underspecification in processing complexity. Register and cooccurrence patterns are thus considered as windows onto underlying cognitive mechanisms of interpretation. SELFISH DISCOURSE will elucidate the relationship between a discourse marker and its co(n)text, teasing out their respective semantic-pragmatic contributions to the construal of senses and coming to terms with the theoretical overlap between polysemy, multifunctionality and underspecification. By combining corpus-based and experimental methods, this project contributes to a growing trend of linguistic research and fills a gap on the cross-modal study of underspecified discourse markers.'

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The information about "SELFISH DISCOURSE" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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