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160162 - Seminar

Dr. Rosario Tomasello

First Meeting: Mo, 28.02.2022 via Zoom

Seminar Times: Mo, 14.03. - Sa, 19.03.

Number of participants: 40

Limitation of participant number: Yes

Compulsory participation: Yes

Program (password needed)

Preperatory Meeting - Online via Zoom

Link (password needed)


Linguistic pragmatics deals with how human language is used as a tool for communication in social contexts. In the present seminar, concepts fundamental to linguistic pragmatics and dialogue/communication analysis will be examined, based on fundamental work from Analytical Philosophy and the Philosophy of Action. Basic structures of communication forms (e.g. verbal and non-verbal communication) are then worked out within the framework of the action prediction theory of communicative functions. The underlying mechanisms in mind and brain of linguistic actions will be discussed in the realm of neurocognitive experimental research, together with insights into neurocomputational modelling. Recent relevant works on the neural basis of understanding and performing communicative actions in the context of language, gesture and intonation will be covered, taking into account social interaction, turn-taking and common ground. The participants will also acquire basic brain anatomy and physiology and neurocognitive methods from psycho- and neurolinguistics.
In parallel, group exercises on the analysis of oral and written communication will take place, in which the participants will learn practical aspects of conversational analysis. It is planned to also present current research work from the Brain Language Laboratory, Freie Universität Berlin, as part of the priority programme of the German Research Foundation entitled 'XPrag.de - Experimental Pragmatic Theories based on Experimental Evidence'. The seminar is intended to stimulate the participants' own scientific work.

Literature for preperation
  • Alston WP. 1964. Philosophy of language. Englewood Cliffs, NJ Prentice-Hall.
  • Austin JL. 1975. How to do things with words. Oxford university press.
  • Boux I, Tomasello R, Grisoni L, Pulvermüller F. 2021. Brain signatures predict communicative function of speech production in interaction. Cortex. 135:127145.
  • Clark HH. 1996. Using Language. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • Levinson SC. 1983. Pragmatics (Cambridge textbooks in linguistics). Cambridge University Press.
  • Pickering MJ, Garrod S. 2004. Toward a mechanistic psychology of dialogue. Behav Brain Sci. 27:169190.
  • Tomasello R, Grisoni L, Boux I, Sammler D, Pulvermüller F. 2021. Instantaneous neural processing of communicative functions conveyed by speech prosody. Cereb Cortex. in press.
  • Tomasello R, Kim C, Dreyer FR, Grisoni L, Pulvermüller F. 2019. Neurophysiological Evidence For rapid Interplay of Linguistic and Gestural Information in Understanding Communicative Actions. Sci Rep. 9:117.
Material (password needed)