Maak kennis met…Alon Fishman

Hi, my name is Alon and I’m from Israel. I did my BA in linguistics at Tel Aviv University, and I’m now smack in the middle of my graduate studies (a combination of MA and PhD) also at Tel Aviv University, with occasional trips to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I’m here at Radboud for a couple of months on the Erasmus Plus program, under supervision of Prof. Wilbert Spooren.

I’m involved in two ongoing research projects. Our research group on ‘or’ constructions challenges the classical analysis of ‘or’ as logical disjunction. By looking at natural spoken data, we have characterized a variety of readings for ‘or’, of which the common denominator is much leaner than logical disjunction, and appears to be procedural rather than truth-conditional.

Our research group on similes links the perceived metaphoricity of similarity statements to the (a)symmetry of their grammatical form. Corpus data and behavioral experiments show that form asymmetry is correlated with heightened metaphoricity, suggesting that grammatical form plays an active role in determining the direction of metaphorical mapping.

My own research focuses on how speakers convey evaluativity, particularly when they do so implicitly, and on how interlocutors respond to each other’s evaluative utterances. I’m also interested in epithets, expressions of similarity, grammatical symmetry, nonliteral language, and just about every other semantic/pragmatic/discoursal topic I happen to run across! If you feel like talking about any of that, I’m (temporarily) in room 6.03 in the Erasmus building, or (more permanently) at alonfishm(at)

Oh, and if you have recommendations about vegan restaurants in Nijmegen or good local beers I should try, I’d be happy to hear those too!