Alan Cienki, born in Hackensack, New Jersey, USA, in 1959. Ph.D. from Brown University, Providence. Assistant Professor of Language and Communication at VU University Amsterdam.
Fellow (1 September 2009 – 30 June 2010)
GESTURE AND COGNITIVE LINGUISTICS
During my NIAS fellowship I focused on the growing interrelations between research in cognitive linguistics and in gesture studies. Aspects of this topic formed the basis for five chapters that I contributed to various edited volumes as well as for six lectures that I was invited to give during the academic year. I also laid the groundwork for a book that proposes a model of language as a prototype category with a flexible boundary, accounting for how co-verbal behaviours can gain the status of linguistic signs to differing degrees according to factors such as context, scope of attention, and discourse genre. I cooperated with several international networks in developing four grant proposals for gesture research projects, and co-organised a conference on metaphor studies which we hosted in Amsterdam. Work as associate editor of a journal and as co-editor of two forthcoming volumes along with research projects on political discourse rounded off the year.