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LINGUIST List 21.2897

Tue Jul 13 2010

Support: French & Discourse Analysis: PhD Student, U of Louvain, Belgium

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        1.    Liesbeth Degand, French & Grammaticalization of Discourse Markers: PhD Student, University of Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve), Belgium

Message 1: French & Grammaticalization of Discourse Markers: PhD Student, University of Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve), Belgium
Date: 12-Jul-2010
From: Liesbeth Degand <liesbeth.deganduclouvain.be>
Subject: French & Grammaticalization of Discourse Markers: PhD Student, University of Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve), Belgium
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Institution/Organization: University of Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve)
Department: Institute for Language and Communication
Web Address: http://www.uclouvain.be/ilc

Level: PhD

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: Discourse Analysis
Grammaticalization of Discourse Markers
Required Language(s): French (fra)

Description:

The Institute for Language & Communication of the University of Louvain (Louvain-
la-Neuve, Belgium) offers a PhD position on the topic: Emerging discourse
markers in the right periphery. The successful candidate will be hosted by the
Research Center Valibel- Discours & Variation (www.uclouvain.be/valibel) and work
in close collaboration with researchers involved in projects on the
grammaticalization of discourse markers.

The aim of the PhD-project is to investigate to what extent the right periphery of
the utterance favours the emergence of new discourse meanings, especially in the
area of discourse markers. The right periphery represents the end of a message at
a moment in time where the message itself exists and is manifest to both speaker
and hearer. Therefore the right periphery is the natural place to comment on a
message or to express expectations pertaining to it towards the hearer.
Recent work (e.g. Degand & Fagard in press) has shown that the occurrence of
discourse markers in the right periphery is a fairly recent phenomenon and that the
migration of discourse markers from initial and medial position goes hand in hand
with semantic change. From a synchronic point of view, markers appearing at the
right of their host unit of discourse are exceptional (cf. Fraser 1999); however if
they do appear in this position, they tend to have an interpersonal function (cf.
Brinton 1996), rather than an information-structuring one. They serve to confirm
shared assumptions, check or express understanding, request confirmation,
express deference or are used for face-saving (cf. Brinton 1996: 37). Right-
peripheral constructions reflect or invite attitudes towards the message or the
situation rather than contributing to the message itself. This hypothesis seems to
be confirmed by certain patterns of language change, since the right periphery
seems to be involved in the rise of modal constructions such as modal particles.
The first aim of the PhD-project is thus to discover whether one can establish a
"discourse marker paradigm" on the right periphery in speech and/or writing in
synchrony.

The second aim of the project is to discover whether such a potential discourse
marker paradigm can be explained in diachronic terms. Following Traugott (1982:
256) we will assume that "[i]f there occurs a meaning-shift which, in the process of
grammaticalization, entails shifts from one functional-semantic component to
another, then such a shift is more likely to be from propositional through textual to
expressive than in reverse direction.".
Language of investigation will be French, preferably in contrast to one or more
other languages.

Profile: MA in Linguistics, (near) native command of French, very good knowledge
of English, acquaintance with grammaticalization theory, acquaintance with corpus
analyses, knowledge of French in diachrony

Applications Deadline: 07-Sep-2010

Mailing Address for Applications:
        Attn: Prof. Liesbeth Degand
        Institute for Language and Communication
        Place B. Pascal 1
        Louvain-la-Neuve 1348
        Belgium

Contact Information:
        Prof Liesbeth Degand
        liesbeth.deganduclouvain.be


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