Universiteit van Amsterdam

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Institute for Logic, Language and Computation

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9 October 2020, Meaning, Logic, and Cognition (MLC) Seminar, Fausto Carcassi

Speaker: Fausto Carcassi
Title: 'Most' vs 'more than half': A pragmatic explanation and an RSA model
Date: Friday 9 October 2020
Time: 16:00-17:30
Location: Online, via Zoom

While ‘most’ and ‘more than half’ are generally assumed to be truth-conditionally equivalent, the former is usually interpreted as conveying greater proportions than the latter. Previous work has attempted to explain this difference in terms of pragmatic strengthening or variation in meanings. In this talk, we propose a novel explanation that keeps the truth-conditions equivalence. We support this explanation with a computational model of usage in the Rational Speech Act framework. We find that the difference in typical proportions associated with the two expressions can be explained with previously independently motivated semantic and pragmatic mechanisms.

Please note that this newsitem has been archived, and may contain outdated information or links.