Welcome to COMCOG 2017

The English Department of the University of Fribourg is delighted to host the 2nd edition of the conference ‘Communication & Cognition’, which will take place from 8 to 10 February 2017.

The aim of the ComCog conference series is to explore the various parameters that affect the way we process communicated information. It accordingly seeks to gather contributions from linguists, cognitive scientists, discourse analysts, philosophers and argumentation theorists. As a case in point, the first edition (Neuchâtel, 2011) focused on the issue of persuasive, manipulative, biased and fallacious verbal communication, with the goal of shedding light on different parameters that play a role in its ‘success’. The special theme of the 2017 edition of ComCog will be miscommunication.

While language is used every day to allow communication between a speaker and an addressee, these communicative efforts are subject to false starts, glitches, derailments, and sometimes complete crashes. In that perspective, scholars who have been interested in accounting for the systems and principles that govern communicative processes have also tried to capture those situations in which communication between two individuals accidentally or intentionally goes wrong. Incidentally, one way to improve our understanding of these systems and principles consists in focusing specifically on situations or data in which communication fails; when the processes go amiss; when a mismatch occurs between the speaker’s intended message and the information retrieved by the addressee. ComCog 2017 will consequently bring together scholars who work on theories and descriptions of such instances of miscommunication, and scholars who use evidence from communicative mismatch to build a theory of human communication.