David Blunier

Assistant doctorant


I am a linguist trained as a philosopher and literary theorist in Lyon and Geneva. I am mostly interested in the syntax and semantics of natural languages, which basically means that I am interested in how the various components of our language faculty conspire to express meanings in a structured fashion, i.e. "articulated thoughts", across languages.

My current work focuses on indexical shift, a widespread phenomenon which describes (roughly) the fact that first and second person pronouns are used anaphorically to refer to matrix subjects in embedded clauses. This is what I am trying to write a dissertation about, under the supervision of Genoveva Puskàs (Geneva) and Susi Wurmbrand (Vienna). I also teach an introductory seminar to linguistics, under the benevolent tutelage of Ur Shlonsky.

Lately, I have also been studying various ellipsis phenomena in sign languages, more specifically Catalan Sign Language, with colleague and friend Giorgia Zorzi from UPF (Barcelona).

My other research interests lie in philosophy and literary theory and include the study of narratives, including the study of perspective in narrative texts, the application of possible worlds semantics to fiction, and the various linguistic components involved in our understanding of stylistic figures, including metaphor.