A warm welcome to Dr Felicity Deamer, who joins the HtV team as post-doctoral research associate with expertise in linguistic pragmatism.

Felicity DeamerI am very excited to be joining the Hearing the Voice team and am very much looking forward to exploring voice hearing within such a dynamic interdisciplinary project. To date, my research has focused on the context-dependent aspects of linguistic communication and has been both theoretical and experimental. My doctoral research explored how empirical data can shed light on linguistic and philosophical accounts of figurative language comprehension. Since then, I have been interested in how insights from pragmatics, and linguistics more generally, might shed light on symptoms associated with psychosis. More specifically, I have been developing a pragmatic approach to voice hearing and exploring the implications that such an account might have for therapeutic techniques.

I aim to build on this research while on HtV by viewing voice hearing as a communicative experience from an agent with specific intentions, and investigating whether changes in the relationship with that agent might bring about changes in how the voices are interpreted and experienced, as well as changes in what the voices actually say. I also hope to reconcile mainstream accounts of voice hearing, which claim that voice hearing experiences involve misattributed episodes of inner speech, with popular accounts of linguistic communication, which themselves struggle to account for inner speech at all. Additionally, I want to explore the possibility of a revised account of linguistic communication that renders inner speech not just possible, but essential, and allows for phenomena such as ‘thinking metaphorically.’

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