SEMANTICS & Pragmatics

Pragmatic knowledge and performance refer to the use and interpretation of language or non-verbal behaviors (e.g., gaze direction) in context so people can communicate and understand intentions or intended meanings.  We examine how adults and children process pragmatic meanings and how pragmatics develops in children.  We are also interested in the core linguistic and non-verbal cognitive factors (e.g., attention and memory-related processes such as executive functions) that underlie pragmatic processing and development.  We focus on pragmatic phenomena such as irony, metaphor, and a range of other pragmatically implied, non-literal meanings (implicatures).  These are investigated and compared in (a) young adults and (a) multilingual, bidialectal, and monolingual children of different ages (5-12 years), who grow up in different countries and sociolinguistic contexts (e.g., Cyprus, Greece, Belgium, the Netherlands), speak a variety of languages (e.g., Greek, Dutch, French); and who are neurotypical or with a neurodevelopmental disorder (specifically, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Developmental Language Disorder).  A main focus of this work is on whether and how the development, representation, and processing of pragmatics differs in (a) a native, first compared to a second or third language; and (b) in multilingual, bidialectal, and monolingual children and adults.
Ongoing

Autism and Cognition in Bilingual/Bidialectal Speakers. Funded by the Cyprus Research and Innovation Foundation (€60,000). Coordinator: Dr Kyriakos Antoniou. In collaboration with Prof. Kakia Petinou.

Past

Bilingualism, pragmatics, and cognition in children with autism. Funded by an individual fellowship from the Wiener-Anspach Foundation (€32,108). Individual postdoctoral fellow: Dr Kyriakos Antoniou. Supervisor: Prof. Mikhail Kissine.

The impact of bilingualism and bi-dialectalism on linguistic and cognitive development (BiBi project). Funded by the Wiener-Anspach Foundation and Isaac Newton Trust (€250,000). Coordinators: Profs. Napoleon Katsos and Mikhail Kissine. Postdoctoral research associates: Drs Kyriakos Antoniou and Alma Veenstra.

The cognitive foundations of pragmatic development (€3000). Funded by the EURO-XPRAG Network, European Science Foundation. Coordinator: Dr Kyriakos Antoniou. In collaboration with Profs. Maria Kambanaros, Kleanthes Grohmann and Napoleon Katsos.

Antoniou, K. (to appear). Multilingual Pragmatics. In C. A. Chapelle (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (2nd edition). Oxford: Blackwell/Wiley

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Antoniou, K. & Michaelides, O. (to appear). The acquisition and processing of pragmatics in multilinguals and third language learners. In J. Cabrelli, A. Chaouch-Orozco, J. G. Alonso, S. M. Pereira Soares, E. Puig-Mayenco, and J. Rothman (Eds.) The Cambridge Handbook of Third Language Acquisition and Processing. Cambridge University Press.

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Petinou, K., Antoniou, K. & Cristopoulou, M. (2022). Addressing multicultural and multilingual aspects in the assessment of individuals with ASD. In M. Bortz (Ed.), Global Language Assessment: A Lifespan Approach.

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Antoniou, K. (2022). Multilingual and Bi-dialectal Irony Processing. In Proceedings of the 44th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. New York: Curran Associates, Inc.

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Antoniou, K., & Milaki, E. (2021). Irony comprehension in bidialectal speakers. The Modern Language Journal, 105, 697-719.

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Antoniou, K., Veenstra, A., Kissine, M., & Katsos, N. (2020). How does childhood bilingualism and bi-dialectalism affect the interpretation and processing of different types of implicature? Bilingualism, Language and Cognition, 23, 186-203.

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Antoniou, K. (2019). Multilingual pragmatics: Implicature comprehension in adult L2 learners and multilingual children. In N. Taguchi (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Pragmatics and Second Language Acquisition (pp. 495-510). New York: Routledge.

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Deliens, G., Antoniou, K., Clin, E., Ostashchenko, E., & Kissine, M. (2018). Context, facial expression, and prosody in irony processing. Journal of Memory and Language, 99, 35-48.

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Antoniou, K., Katsos, N. (2017). The effect of childhood multilingualism and bilectalism on implicature understanding. Applied Psycholinguistics, 38, 787-833.

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Deliens, G., Antoniou, K., Clin, E., & Kissine, M. (2017). Perspective-taking and frugal heuristics: evidence from sarcasm detection. Journal of Pragmatics, 119, 33-45.

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Antoniou, K., Cummins, C., Katsos, N. (2016). Why only some adults reject under-informative utterances. Journal of Pragmatics, 99, 78-95.

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