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Conference Information

Full Title: Modeling Experiencers in Natural Language Semantics

Location: Tezpur, Assam, India
Start Date: 13-Jan-2014 - 16-Jan-2014
Contact: Berit Gehrke
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: There is a long-standing tradition of using logical and, more specifically, model-theoretic tools in the analysis of natural languages. Building on this tradition, our workshop aims at addressing one specific issue that has been the topic of discussion lately in the areas of formal semantics, applied logic, computational linguistics, and philosophy. The issue at stake is the notion of experiencer, across languages and across linguistic categories. For example, it is commonly assumed that in a sentence like 'Deeti's performance astonished Raj', Raj occupies the role of the experiencer.

One of the open questions currently under debate is whether this experiencer argument remains present in derived adjectives such as 'astonishing', as in 'Deeti's performance was astonishing'. Another open question is whether derived adjectives like 'astonishing' belong to the same semantic category as morpho-syntactically simple adjectives like 'nice' or 'great', which are commonly classified under the label of evaluative adjectives and have elicited a heated debate in semantics and in philosophy. Yet another question is the role of experiencers in other linguistic constructions such as, e.g., evidential markers (which do not exist in English but do e.g. in Japanese).

In addressing these and other questions concerning experiencers, our workshop aims at reaching a better understanding of the nature of argument structure in natural language, which we take to be a key element in understanding the logical patterns that linguistic constructions give rise to, and in modeling the logic of natural language. Our interdisciplinary workshop will provide a platform for a fruitful exchange between those working in foundational areas in logic and those who are interested in the applications of logic to natural languages.

Invited Speakers:

Eric McCready (Aoyama Gakuin University)
Brendan Gillon (Mc Gill)
Carla Umbach (Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft)

Workshop Organizers:

Berit Gehrke (CNRS / Paris 7)
Isidora Stojanovic (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

The workshop forms part of the 5th Indian School on Logic and its Applications (ISLA 2014), held at Tezpur University from January 6 to 17, 2014. For more information consult the local webpage:
Linguistic Subfield: Philosophy of Language; Pragmatics; Semantics; Syntax
LL Issue: 24.3995

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