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Walter De Mulder

  • Research interest:The central question of my research is how language users can constitute a representation of the world (or other fictive worlds) in and through their use of language, how they can refer to elements of the world (or fictive worlds) and how they can communicate about it. To answer these questions, I conduct or (mainly with respect to (iv)) develop research into(i) the meaning and use of expressions that contribute to reference or (as I prefer to call it) to the constitution of the world (or fictive worlds):- (mainly) French definite articles and demonstratives- (mainly) French markers of tense, aspect and mood- (mainly) French spatial prepositions(ii) theories of meaning and reference and on the relationship between the two, and more in particular on cognitive and semantic/pragmatic theories about- the “flexibility” of meaning - metaphor- implicatures(iii) the historical development of the expressions referred to under (i), amongst others within the framework of approaches to grammaticalization and theories of historical semantics (Blank, Koch, Geeraerts, etc.)(iv) more concrete applications, amongst others by looking into - the “framing” of messages- contextualisation and intertextuality- the application of (cognitive/usage-based) linguistics in teaching language (and linguistics)
  • Keywords:LINGUISTIC MEANING AND INTERPRETATION, SEMANTIC CHANGE, GENERAL LINGUISTICS, FRENCH LANGUAGE, Language and literature (incl. information, documentation, library and archive sciences)
  • Disciplines:Diachronic linguistics, Grammar, Historical linguistics, Pragmatics, Semantics, Synchronic linguistics
  • Research techniques:Standard research methods in linguistics
  • Users of research expertise:Linguists and other uses who are professionally or by their research interested in language and meaning.