LINGUIST List 12.634

Wed Mar 7 2001

Jobs: Semantics/Pragmatics at ILLC/U of Amsterdam, NL

Editor for this issue: Michael Appleby <>


  1. Paul Dekker, Semantics/Pragmatics/Lang Games: Research at ILLC/U of Amsterdam, NL

Message 1: Semantics/Pragmatics/Lang Games: Research at ILLC/U of Amsterdam, NL

Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2001 11:40:03 +0200
From: Paul Dekker <>
Subject: Semantics/Pragmatics/Lang Games: Research at ILLC/U of Amsterdam, NL

Call for Applications

The ILLC/Department of Philosophy of the University of Amsterdam
offers a two and a half year research position, for a PostDoc to work
on the project "Formal Language Games." The PostDoc will work an NWO
Vernieuwingsimpuls project, with Dr. Paul Dekker as the principal
investigator. A short description of the project can be found below.

We solicit applications for this position from candidates with a
PhD. (now, or soon) in natural language semantics, pragmatics,
discourse and dialogue, and/or game theory, and with proven expertise
in the areas covered by the project. (See the project description.)

The application should comprise:

 -> a short (up to one page) proposal for a research project
 that falls within the confines of the general project
 -> a curriculum vitae
 -> one or two relevant publications (or references to
 such publications)
 -> reference(s) for recommendation

Submissions packages should be here in Amsterdam before:

 -> April 16, 2001

Applications should be sent to:

 -> Dr. Paul Dekker
 ILLC/Department of Philosophy
 Nieuwe Doelenstraat 15
 NL 1012 CP, Amsterdam
 The Netherlands
 -> or by email to

Formal Language Games (summary)

The concept of a language game has been used as an inspiring metaphor
in various studies on dialogue, and it has independently shown up in a
number of recent pragmatic improvements of formal systems of
interpretation (game-theoretical semantics, dynamic semantics,
optimality theoretic interpretation). However, no systematic and
formally robust conceptual apparatus has emerged so far, and this
raises questions about the compatibility and combinability of these
research trends.

The pragmatic and dynamic ambitions of the trends are akin in spirit
though, and their key notions naturally fall within the scope of game
theory. With this project we aim to develop a unified perspective by
employing the mathematically well-studied apparatus of game theory as
a theory of rational (inter-)action. We set out to identify the
crucial concepts and analyses from specific applications in
game-theoretical terms, and to generalize these to the wider field of
language use. We thus envisage to develop not only a more coherent and
formally robust perspective upon the use of language, but also to feed
the specific paradigms with new concepts and tools so as to enable
them to extend their empirical scope.

For a full description of the project, see

 -> or
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