Mission Statement



Our mission is to develop innovative approach to discourse studies.
We focus on communicative behaviour in different professional, institutional and everyday contexts, determined by cognitive characteristics of speakers and social structure of their environment.

We carry out research in several directions, which makes our approach unique:

1. We investigate different types of discourse in light of the following socio-cognitive assumptions:
Human cognition and communication are based on a number of universal principles: the gestalt principle of perceiving objects; the multimodality of interaction with the world; the varying distribution of our attention; metaphorical thinking; conceptual blending, etc. The construal of the world by individual speakers is subjective: it is limited or influenced by selectiveness of our attention, different points of view (perspectives), cognitive biases and intentions. Human cognition and communication are governed by social factors: socially and culturally relevant cognitive models, social institutions and values, social relations, identities and roles.

2. We study communicative behaviour of speakers of several languages: Russian, English, German, French, Spanish and others, which allows us to reveal cross-linguistic and cultural differences.

3. A special emphasis is placed on multimodal communication,by which we mean any form of spoken or written interaction that is constructed across several modes or codes of communication (semiotic systems) – speech, gesture and other body movements, colour, taste, image, etc.

4. ScoDis delivers research through unique projects on sign languages, bilingualism and brain plasticity.

ScoDis activities go beyond research, as we seek to:

  • Attract young researches – invite Ph.D. and postdoctoral students to take part in Russian and international research projects; encourage undergraduate and postgraduate students to participate in the activities of SCoDis; organize regular meetings, seminars, competitions and mentoring for younger researchers.
  • Enhance cooperation – contribute to an international network of specialists in socio-cognitive research; develop international exchanges of Ph.D. students and postdocs between universities; invite prominent scholars for guest lectures in cognitive science, sociolinguistics, social semiotics, cognitive semiotics,, and discourse analysis.
  • Disseminitate research findings – present the results of ScoDis
    research projects at Russian and international conferences; encourage international publications by MSLU researchers; organize conferences and workshops on topics in socio-cognitive discourse studies and sign languages on a regular basis.