LINGUIST List 11.1437

Wed Jun 28 2000

Jobs: Ling/Cognitive Science: Toulouse-Le Mirail

Editor for this issue: Jody Huellmantel <>


  1., Jean-Luc, Ling/Cognitive Science: Toulouse-Le Mirail, Haute-Garonne France

Message 1: Ling/Cognitive Science: Toulouse-Le Mirail, Haute-Garonne France

Date: 28 Jun 2000 16:08:13 -0000
From:, Jean-Luc <>
Subject: Ling/Cognitive Science: Toulouse-Le Mirail, Haute-Garonne France

Rank of Job: 
Areas Required: Linguistics, Cognitive Science
Other Desired Areas: Psycholinguistics, Neuropsychology
University or Organization: Toulouse-Le Mirail
Department: Laboratoire de Neuropsycholinguistique Jacques-Lordat
State or Province: Haute-Garonne
Country: France
Final Date of Application: July 20, 2000
Contact: NESPOULOUS, Jean-Luc

Address for Applications:
5, Allies A. Machado, 31058 Toulouse Cedex, France
31 31058 Cedex

(Laboratoire de Neuropsycholinguistique Jacques-Lordat (LNJL),
University of Toulouse-Le Mirail, France)

As part of the French Education Ministry&#8217;s programme to
fostervisits by foreign researchers, the Laboratoire de
NeuropsycholinguistiqueJacques-Lordat is offering a one-year
post-doctoral research contract.

Candidates must
&#8211; have received their doctorate from a University outside
France(foreign graduates who have written their theses for a French
Universityare not eligible);
&#8211; be below the age-limit of 35 (on 31 December 2000);
&#8211; be competent in written French (as the research project
revolvesaround the French language).

&#8211; the person appointed will be on a University contract;
&#8211; the salary is 12 000 FF per month after deductions and
includespersonal health cover (not including dependent persons, spouse
and children);
&#8211; duration: 12 months;
&#8211; starting date: October 2000 (November at the latest).

How to apply:
Candidates should send their application (letter, C.V. and any
relateddocument) by electronic mail before 15th July 2000 to:

Nature of the research 

The main objective of the Laboratoire de
NeuropsycholinguistiqueJacques-Lordat (LNJL) is to account for cognitive
processes involved in theverbal behaviour of pathological subjects
(suffering from aphasia,dementiaI) or normal subjects (children
acquiring their L1, &#8220;stable&#8221; adults, L2 learnersI) whether
in the course oflanguage production or comprehension. The general
approachis to seek to apprehend the underlying determinism of the
surfacemanifestations observed in the behaviour of the populations

In this context, the LNJL is at present developing several research
themes which take the text (written text, taking into account its
material andvisual aspects) as the unit of language for the study of
cognitiveprocesses at different levels. 

Taking the text as a unit raises difficulties for experimental work:

&#8211; compared with isolated sentences, texts are extended
utterances which involve multiple interdependent and embedded

&#8211; compared with spoken discourse, written texts make it necessary
to take into account a specific dimension: visual properties of text play
apart at a number of levels in the interpretation of text. They can act
as reading instructions, as directly meaningful elements, as variable
factors contributing to communicative efficiency in relation to processes
such as recall/comprehension, conveying information, carrying out actions
(in the case of instructional texts), etc.

Despite the complexity of the problems which this choice of unit
entails,the text constitutes the only relevant unit for the study of
phenomena which can only be envisaged at that level: the linguistic
expression oftemporal relations, narrative logic, various anaphoric
phenomenaI. Recent developments in the study of discourse structures
(e.g. Mann &Thompson&#8217;s Rhetorical Stucture Theory) and textual
structures (e.g.Pascual &Virbel&#8217;s Model of Text Architecture), and
the study of the interaction between these models which deal with
different aspects of text modelling, make it possible to construct
realisticallycontrolled experimental materials. These materials may be
existing texts(produced outside experimental protocols), or
&#8220;textoids&#8221;, i.e. specifically constructed texts.In both
cases, they raise problems of systematic analysis and control
ofproperties. Among text types currently under study, narratives
andinstructional texts figure prominently.

There are three major components to the research:
&#8211; a linguistic component concerned with the relationship
betweenvisual markers (typographical and positional) and
lexico-syntactic markers,linked with a formal component (logical and
computational modelling), theaim being the study of the interaction of
different models necessary for therepresentation of these aspects of the
signalling of text structure;

&#8211; a psycholinguistic component concerned with the experimental
study of the impact of the properties of texts, represented and
formalised according to the above approaches, in relation to the
performances ofdifferent categories of subjects;

&#8211; a neuropsycholinguistic component, concerned with the
formulationand the evaluation of hypotheses on the the fonctional
architecture of thebrain/mind in the processing of language.
This three-pronged approach has been developed through a close
long-termcollaboration between the Laboratoire de
NeuropsycholinguistiqueJacques-Lordat and the group &#8220;Modles de
CommunicationEcrite&#8221; of the Institut de Recherche en Informatique
de Toulouse (Universit&#381;Paul Sabatier), led by Jacques Virbel.

The projects which have come out of this collaboration have focussed
(1) the contribution of visual aspects of the written language on
theorganisation of texts, and its impact on the
recall/comprehensionperformance of different populations (see above);
(2) the &#8220;questionability&#8221; resources of texts (to
whatquestions a particular text may contain answers);
(3) non-literal communication (indirect speech-acts, irony, etc.).

Approaches to these questions are mainly:
&#8211; the relations between language, metalanguage and
sublanguage,after Z. Harris;
&#8211; composition (respectively: decomposition) of lexical phrases
intotextual phrases (or discourse phrases);
&#8211; formal models of text (Model of Text Architecture,
RhetoricalStructure Theory, Kintsch & van Dijk&#8217;s model, etc.);
&#8211; interaction between models;
&#8211; lexical semantics;
&#8211; questioning: logical theory of &#8220;sets ofanswers&#8221;;
&#8211; speech act theory and communicational cooperation theory


Within this general framework, the LNJL seeks to recruit a
foreignpost-doctoral researcher who is:
&#8211; familiar with at least some of the themes described above,
&#8211; able to bring a specific contribution to the research in terms
ofconcrete applications and/or testing of other theoretical or
&#8211; looking for an opportunity to apply his/her knowledge in
thecontext of experimental psycholinguistic or neuropsycholinguistic
studies(of normal or pathological subjects).
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue