Faculty Research Fellow

Jackman Humanities Institute
2021 - 2022

Sources of Information and Linguistic Meaning: From Typology to Cognition

Participating in conversation has been widely argued to depend on the ability to track what information is already shared between the conversational partners. While the notion of ‘common ground’ has been a basic concept in multiple fields, my recent research has challenged the utility of a common ground representation, moving instead to the Multiple-Perspectives Theory, in which each partner holds a separate representation of the self and other. By shifting the focus away from the symmetry dictated by common ground, the Multiple-Perspectives Theory opens up possibilities for exploring new relationships between grammatical elements and the knowledge of conversational partners. The current project explores one such asymmetry – sources of information – asking how they are used, tracked, and encoded in language. One important linguistic construction in this context is evidential markers: I will investigate how their pragmatic use relates to asymmetries in perspective between the conversational partners.