ContactPhone: 07531 / 88 5760
Room: Y 121
Post office box: 216Website Write an e-mail
Department of Linguistics
Project: Pragmatic Inference Based on Linguistic Preferences
In classical versions of Gricean theory, conversational implicatures are derived through reasoning about speakers´ intentions on the basis of a set of Maxims of Conversation, which are motivated by a general Cooperative Principle. Such implicatures have generally been assumed to invariably have a number of properties, most notably they are supposed to be optional and defeasible: An utterance of the sentence "Some students came" may typically give rise to the implication that not all students came, but there are contexts in which the implication is absent and a speaker can always coherently deny (or "cancel") this implication.
This has important consequences, which the proposed project explores. Firstly, it means that optionality and defeasibility are not reliable diagnostics for implicature-hood. An implication may be obligatory, and yet be a Gricean conversational implicature. Secondly, it potentially expands the reach of Gricean theory considerably. Phenomena that are generally taken to lie outside the reach of pragmatic theory may be amenable to pragmatic analysis after all.
This project explores several candidates for such phenomena, both in cases where previous research has identified implicature-like inferences that appear to be obligatory, and in cases where the prerequisites for obligatory implicatures to arise are arguable fulfilled, but the hypothesis that robust implicatures exist has not yet been considered.
Fellow since 10/2013
See detailed profile: https://scikon.uni-konstanz.de/en/persons/profile/sven.lauer/
Publications on KOPS
Julian Torres Dowdall
ContactPhone: +49 7531 88-4066
Room: M 1002Website Write an e-mail
Affiliated with the Department of Biology
Project: Does Side Matter? Evolution of Genital Asymmetry in Livebearing Fishes
Most organisms are strictly bilaterally symmetrical. This fundamental rule in biology is rarely broken and only occurs in some structures, for example, in the asymmetry of the position of the heart in mammals. Symmetry appears to be "mandated" due to developmental processes, and evolution should select for symmetry given to the potentially high fitness cost of asymmetry. Thus, asymmetry is generally viewed as an imperfection or a "flaw". Many studies have demonstrated that females use symmetry as proxy for genetic quality of a potential mate in sexual selection. This is why asymmetry, and particularly asymmetry in structures relating to reproduction, is an unusual evolutionary phenomenon that still needs an evolutionary explanation. Particularly promising for the study of the evolution of asymmetric polymorphisms in animal genitalia are some species of livebearer fish that use modified anal fins, a structure called the gonopodium, for internal fertilization. Sixteen of the 17 species of Anablepid fishes use internal fertilization, and several of them are known to have asymmetric copulatory organs.
The project aims to conduct a series of studies to characterize genitalia asymmetry in different species in the family, investigate if asymmetry is adaptive, if it affects mate choice, and determine if it has a genetic basis. Furthermore, the project wants to take advantage of the revolutionary advances in next generation sequence by using Restriction-site Associated DNA (RAD) tags to develop a genome wide set of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) markers. These markers are fundamental to determine the level of differentiation between asymmetric morphs in the wild and the phylogenetic relation among all the species in the Anablepid family.
Fellow since 08/2013
See detailed profile: https://scikon.uni-konstanz.de/en/persons/profile/julian.torres-dowdall/
Publications on KOPS