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ERC Starting Grant for Nick Enfield
Aug 27, 2009
The project – titled ‘Human Sociality and Systems of Language Use’ – will involve extensive fieldwork on seven non-European languages (in South East Asia, West Africa, and South America) to test the hypothesis that patterns of language use are universally grounded in uniquely human social-cognitive interactional propensities.
Observing natural conversation
A team of six researchers – the team leader with three research fellows and two PhD students – will build corpora of video-recorded natural conversation, and use these corpora for systematic description and comparison of three structured domains of linguistic practice in social interaction: repair, reference, and requests. An aim of the project is to break new ground in typology by working on phenomena that can only be observed in natural conversation, a genre dominant in life but rarely studied in linguistics. The project will begin in January 2010, with full staff on board by the middle of the year. The hosting Institution is the MPI for Psycholinguistics.