An encounter with language is meaningful. The experience leaves an indelible imprint. Thought is given form. The universe of the mind is disclosed to us. It grants us the power to build new worlds, to share powerful ideas, and to destroy both. I am interested in how this happens and how it came to be this way.
I advocate an interdisciplinary approach to the study of discourse and cognition. Bringing together (Critical) Discourse Analysis, Cognitive Linguistics, and Cognitive Neuroscience, I explore the question of what it means to make meaning. I believe developing this understanding is fundamental to accounting for the human experience. Only by fully understanding ourselves, can we fully understand the challenges in our future.
I propose two interdependent research programmes. The first is the development of a framework to assess the phenomenon of discourse coherence, or how texts and discourses appear to ‘make sense’. With the second, I aim to develop a systematic method for the analysis of text and discourse that identifies correlations between the conceptual properties of language and the underpinning neural substrate. What does our brain do when we encounter text, talk, and discourse? How does meaning ‘happen’? Why is experience meaningful?