Staff Member Projects

Intersubjectivity and the management of perspectives

Arie Verhagen

Verhagen project2 IntersubjectivityAt a very fundamental level all language use is a cooperative, joint activity. Languages are governed by conventions linking form to meaning, and conventions can only emerge and persist in groups of individuals engaged in collaborative activities (called "Schelling-games" in game theory).

In this project, I investigate conventional lexical and grammatical means in the linguistic system that serve a specific function in coordinating distinct subjective perspectives on some object of joint attention (among others, negation and complementation constructions). A recent focus in this project is the cross-linguistic investigation of the representation of speech and thought of others in narrative discourse.