Seminars



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2022

Pragmatics and creative writing
Billy Clark
12h00-14h00, MR 107, Université Paris 8
10 March 2022

This talk considers how pragmatic theories can be applied and developed in considering the practice of creative writers. Some of the ways in which creative writers talk about their practice are likely to make pragmatic theorists optimistic, i.e. to suggest pragmatic theories are likely to be able to shed light on this. Raymond Carver, for example, claimed that ‘any literary work . . . is an act of communication between the writer and reader’, and Stephen King described writing as ‘telepathy . . . a meeting of minds’.
Others have seen writing as much more mysterious and so harder to explain. Harold Pinter, for example, described writing as ‘a highly ambiguous transaction . . . which might give way under . . . the author at any time’.
George Saunders (2021) talks about writing in more than one way. Some of his discussion suggests a fairly reflective practice involving fairly explicit reasoning. In other places, he suggests a more intuitive and unreflective practice.
At first glance, many pragmatic theories seem more suited to accounting for the more reflective practice than the more intuitive variety. This talks considers to what extent ideas developed within relevance theory (Sperber and Wilson 1986) can contribute to understanding each of these kinds of writing practice. One conclusion of the talk is that exploring these ideas can help us both to develop understanding of creative writing practice and to develop pragmatic theories.

 

How do speakers make meaning ?
Benoît Leclercq
12h00-14h00, MR 107, Université Paris 8
15 March 2022

The aim of this talk is twofold. First, I will introduce the underlying questions that stimulate my research. Second, I hope to spark discussion on issues that I fear may still lack convincing answers. The bulk of my work is to understand how speakers manage to make meaning. The idea that verbal interaction rests on both the appropriate use of linguistic conventions and contextual pragmatic processes is now accepted as general truth in linguistic theory. The challenge is mainly to pin down the degree to which each of these factors is responsible for the success of communication. This requires spelling out a clear view on the semantics-pragmatics interface and to pin down the exact contribution that different linguistic signs make to the interpretation process. This presentation provides a theoretical discussion of these questions ; English modals will be used as testground for some of the hypotheses put forward.

 

The role of lexical knowledge in L2 listening comprehension
Marie-Pierre Jouannaud
12h00-14h00, MR 107, Université Paris 8
22 March 2022

The presentation will begin by reviewing different strands of research pointing to the central role of the lexicon in language processing and performance. Psycholinguistic models of language processing place lexical knowledge at the center of the listening process, between sound recognition on the one hand, and grammatical integration of meaning on the other, as well as at the intersection of lower-level (formal) and higher-level (meaning-based) processes. Many second language acquisition studies have also reported high correlations between vocabulary size and receptive skills in L2 speakers. Against this backdrop, I will present my own research in instructed second language acquisition of English as a foreign language. The presentation will describe the development of an aural vocabulary recognition test, the exploration of the role of phraseological knowledge (over and above knowledge of isolated words) in listening comprehension, and an analysis of the changing role of vocabulary items in the official syllabus for foreign languages published by the French ministry of education.

 

Lexico-constructional profiling of desire and boredom in Russian, French and English
Avgustina Biryukova
March 2022 - Date TBA

Upcoming

Billy Clark
Postponed, date to be announced

The socio-cultural dimensions of representing asylum seekers in media
Anissa Berracheche
Postponed, date to be announced

Voice, speech and gender norms in English/French bilinguals
Erwan Pépiot & Aron Arnold
Postponed, date to be announced

Phonetic perspectives on (dis)fluency
Ivana Didirková
Postponed, date to be announced

Multimodal quantiative Discourse Analysis : Self-praise strategies on French and Russian Instagram
Aliya Gimadieva
Postponed, date to be announced

The social emotion of shame in French
Mai Kumamoto
Postponed, date to be announced