LINGUIST List 13.938

Fri Apr 5 2002

Diss: Semantics: Pietarinen "Games in Logic&Language"

Editor for this issue: Karolina Owczarzak <>


  1. pietarin, Semantics: Pietarinen "Semantic Games in Logic and Language"

Message 1: Semantics: Pietarinen "Semantic Games in Logic and Language"

Date: Thu, 04 Apr 2002 16:03:27 +0000
From: pietarin <>
Subject: Semantics: Pietarinen "Semantic Games in Logic and Language"

New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: University of Helsinki
Program: Theoretical Philosophy
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2002

Author: Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen 

Dissertation Title: 
Semantic Games in Logic and Language

Linguistic Field: Semantics, Pragmatics, Philosophy of Language

Dissertation Abstract: 

This study addresses three related questions: (i) What kind of tools
and methodologies can games provide for the study of logic and
language? (ii) What is the structure of such games? (iii) What is the
relation between logic, language and games?

The major conclusions are: (1) Game-theoretic semantics (GTS) makes
available a formal apparatus which can be put to use in logic in new
ways, and which unifies different semantic outlooks on natural
language. Its philosophical component is found in the analysis of
lexical and logical meaning in terms of novel game-theoretic
content. (2) Semantic games have an extensive form, and that shows the
flow of semantic information and the distribution of the strategic
actions of the players during the actual play of the game. Variations
on the information structure of the players give rise to different
informationally independent logics that will be studied. (3) Various
logical semantics can be distilled from different classes of
games. Besides logic, this proves to be useful for the study of
language. When games are varied, different logics, other than
classical propositional, first-order or modal ones will emerge. This
again allows us to perceive much more in the structure and semantics
of natural language than currently is believed.

This study consists of a systematic introductory essay (ch.1) and five
original research papers. Particular topics covered and results
obtained are: New findings in the history of games in logic (ch.1);
the relevance of games in philosophical logic (ch.2); the refined
interpretation of GTS and independence-friendly (IF) logics in
propositional logic (ch.3,ch.4) and in epistemic first-order logic
(ch.5); the character of partiality and imperfect information (ch.4);
the resolution of the problem of intentional identity (ch.5), and the
formulation of new game rules for cross-categorial linguistic
expressions such as generalised quantifiers and eventualities
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