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Daniel Revach

MSc, BSc

DPhil Candidate

Psychocognitive underpinnings of the relationship between language, mind & culture

My doctorate research focuses on the relationship between language, mind and culture. We seek to understand how the rich tapestry of languages reflects, affects, and is affected by the way speakers think and behave. In doing so we hope to shed light on universal patterns explaining linguistic and cultural diversity.

Our goal is to investigate the maps of meaning – how and to what extent concepts schematize the semantic space. This requires undrstanding the role of ambiguity and specificity, abstraction and concreteness, and semantic variability, in supporting the cognitive processes, including attentional and affective, involved in one’s interaction with their physical and social environment.

In particular, we ask, what can the cultural and psychological contexts tell us about why there is higher agreement and specificity in the meaning of some concepts compared to others?

To answer this question, our research involves laboratory experiments, field work and corpuses studies, relying on an interdisciplinary approach that draws on cognitive science, psychology, linguistics, and anthropology.

Beyond illuminating the relationship between language, culture and cognition, this research has the potential to inform policy making and language-related disorders.