All posts by Frank

Semantic Fiction

The murder of Richard Montague, disruptive innovator in the thriving field of formal semantics (as he might be called by advertising companies today), is an unsolved police case. His theories of natural language, and their many successors, are of course still taught today, as any student in our semantics courses can tell you. For taking some time off from the intellectual effort that it takes to come to grips with logical languages, without leaving the topic altogether, there is an exciting option: A few years ago, Aifric Campbell published a murder mystery, The Semantics of Murder, which is constructed around the real-world events surrounding the life of Richard Montague. Here’s your exceptional chance to enjoy a structural analysis of a higher-order quantificational formula in a relaxing environment – as a student of semantics you might want to check out page 58 of the 2008 softcover edition right away!

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Dianne Jonas in Iceland

Dianne Jonas is again heading north to Iceland, where she will be giving a talk on `The Morphosyntax of the verb tykja in Faroese – a Diachronic and Comparative Perspective’. Her presentation is part of a meeting organized by Háskóla Íslands og Fróðskaparseturs í
Færeyjum (University of Iceland and University of the Faroe Islands).

Quantifiers in Theory and Processing

Janina Radó visited the Linguistics Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences from March 3rd through March 5th. On the first day, she and Oliver Bott from Universität Tübingen talked on Experimental evidence against underspecified representations of quantifier scope, followed by a two-day course on Experimental investigations into quantifier scope at Pázmány University Budapest.

Paper on Automatic Reasoning

Many tests of semantic properties that linguists use in their everyday life rely on reasoning. For example, if you know that all space aliens love chocolate, and you learn that Mary is a space alien, then you also know that Mary loves chocolate. This does not only tell you something important about space aliens, on closer inspection and after some serious linguistic analyzing it also reveals certain properties of the meaning of the determiner all. Continue reading Paper on Automatic Reasoning

Workshop in Zichron Ya’akov

At a  workshop on grammar development in Zichron Ya’akov in the second half of June Janina Radó and Frank Richter gave two talks. Janina reported on ongoing experimental work on complex sluicing and focus. Frank discussed some aspects of a paper with Michael Hahn on using Henkin semantics for automatic reasoning with natural language.

ZichronYaakov
A quiet corner in Zichron Ya’akov (Frank Richter, BY-NC-ND 3.0)

The perfect conference location provided ample opportunity to explore the town and to learn about the local historical, botanical and culinary offerings.