Action formation and ascription -
It was Austin’s insight that people do not primarily use language to encode propositions but rather to do things, like requesting, offering, thanking, etc. But these actions are mostly not directly coded, and we have little understanding of how they are recognized, constituting a huge gap in our understanding of language comprehension. In addition, we know little about cross-linguistic variation in the inventory of speech acts or their development in childhood. This new project aims to narrow the gap, using multiple perspectives and methods, from cross-linguistic corpora to developmental studies, or from qualitative analysis to cognitive neuroimaging.