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July 3, 2009



Research in experimental pragmatics generates data as it tests between theories of pragmatics. After having seen accelerated growth over the last ten years, experimental pragmatics is now in a better position to resolve theoretical disputes, to advance beyond armchair theory-making and to make pragmatic theories more accessible to the cognitive science community at large. As part of an effort to provide a more permanent platform, a Research Network Program known as EURO-XPRAG supported by the ESF is now kicking off through a call for proposals that will support collaborative research.

Proposals that are accepted will bring together teams of at least two researchers to conduct collaborative research in experimental pragmatics. Accepted projects will be reimbursed for travel expenses up to EUR 4000 distributed over a two year period starting October 15th, 2009. The travel expenses must be distributed over two or three short trips, with the first trip taking place in 2009 (see note a in "Further details" at euro-xprag.org).

In addition, successful applicants will be invited to present their projects at a workshop to be held at the University of Leuven, Belgium, on June 10-12, 2010. The workshop's objectives will be to provide feedback on the experimental paradigms and their testing of semantic and pragmatic theory.

Given that the goal of Experimental Pragmatics is to bring together opposing theories around the investigation of specific phenomena, EURO-XPRAG will privilege proposals built around Adversarial Collaborations. Ideally, these consist of a group containing two researchers with opposing points of view on a specific topic and an arbiter. The members of the collaboration would aim to work out in detail specific opposing predictions within an experimental paradigm and ultimately to test those predictions. This has been practiced among cognitive scientists in the past (see Mellers, Hertwig and Kahneman, 2001 for a detailed illustration) and requires a strong arbiter to mount a mutually agreed experiment. See Mellers, Hertwig & Kahnemann, (2001)1, and especially Table 1 (at the website euro-xprag.org) on creating an Adversarial Collaboration.

The potential themes to be covered include, but are not limited to, presupposition, referential terms, metaphor and figurative uses, implicatures, acquisition and development of pragmatics, and lexical pragmatics. Proposals will be evaluated for their overall quality and for the added value they bring to Experimental Pragmatics. Funds are limited to travel expenses linked to the collaboration (i.e. they are not designed for costs related to experimental procedures, which can be covered by other sources or by the host institutions).

For further details, go to http://www.euro-xprag.org/

Posted by ira at 5:29 PM | Comments (0)