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27 October 2015, Logic Tea, Julian Schloeder

Speaker: Julian Schloeder
Title: English Intonational Meaning in Context
Date: Tuesday 27 October 2015
Time: 17:00-18:00
Location: Room F1.15, ILLC, Science Park 107, Amsterdam

Abstract

The meaning of an utterance can change depending on how it is intonated: raising one's voice at the end of an indicative mood utterance can make that utterance a question, and a sarcastically intonated utterance can reverse the (unintonated) meaning. Previous work has indicated that these effects are highly dependent on context and that the the same pitch contour can have vastly different interpetations.

The talk will give a gentle introduction into modelling meaning in context by way of the SDRT framework. Using SDRT, we are then able to give a fully formal model that accounts for intonational meaning. The semantics associated with a pitch contour are left underspecified to be resolved only when the utterance attaches in a wider discourse segment. By taking into account where an utterance attaches, these underspecified meanings are resolved to precise logical forms that are sufficiently specified to infer when a certain pitch contour appears incoherent. A particular novelty of the formalism is an axiomatisation of Hindsight inferences: inferences of the form "before e happened, A must have believed that p."

For more information, please visit the website http://www.illc.uva.nl/logic_tea/ or contact Thomas Brochhagen (), Johannes Marti () or Julian Schloder ().

Please note that this newsitem has been archived, and may contain outdated information or links.