Reading, research, and interest groups
Interdisciplinary Logic Colloquium
The interdisciplinary logic colloquium is a joint effort of several departments at the university of Konstanz, aimed at fostering cross-disciplinary communication. Its sessions have spawned new collaborations between members of the Konstanz semantics community. The colloquium usually features four talks per semester. (Note: the colloquium has its own mailing list, which you can subscribe to on its website).
Coordinators: Carolin Antos-Kuby and Manfred Kupffer
’SuP: Graduate student reading group in semantics and pragmatics
Meets weekly during the semester. Regular meetings are restricted to graduate students. Occassionally, the group hosts visitors and invites all interested parties.
Organized by Sandy Ciroux and Felix Frühauf.
Subjectvity, etc. reading group.
Meets roughly bi-weekly to discuss papers related to the topic of subjectivity, evaluativity, exclamativity, predicates of taste, non-propositional/non-at-issue meaning, and the like.
Core members: Sven Lauer, Eva Csipak, Andrea Beltrama, Natasha Korotkova.
Contact Sven Lauer if you want to be kept informed about the group’s activities.
The Constance Causal Connection (CCC)
An informal association (and sometimes reading group) of researchers interested in the representation of causal dependencies in formal semantics. Organized the Workshop on modeling causal dependencies in formal semantics in May 2017. Currently somewhat dormant, but contact Sven Lauer if you want to be kept up to date about activities.
Core members: Eva Csipak, Arno Goebel, Sven Lauer, Antje Rumberg
Research projects with third-party funding
FOR 2111: Questions at the Interfaces
This DFG Research Unit investigates question formation, with a particular emphasis on non-canonical questions. It combines expertise from theoretical, computational and experimental linguistics as well as visual analytics to study how different components of grammar interface with one another to signal a particular meaning. The Research Unit features various projects with an emphasis on semantics and pragmatics of questions.
FOR 1614: What If? On the meaning, relevance, and epistemology of counterfactual claims and thought experiments
This DFG Research Unit investigates counterfactual and other conditionals from linguistic, philosophical, historical and literary studies perspectives. It features various projects relating to the semantics and pragmatics of conditional sentences, from linguistic and philosphical angles.
LA 3880/1: What is it to ask a question? — A formal-pragmatic investigation of interrogative force
This DFG Emmy Noether Junior Research Group investigates the sentential force of interrogative sentences. It complements FOR2111 in being focused mainly on (formally) canonical interrogatives, but it also features subprojects on rhetorical uses of interrogatives and infinitival and ‘practical’ interrogatives.
KO 5704/1: Parenthetical Meaning (Emmy Noether Group of Todor Koev)
Parentheticals constitute a large and diverse class of expressions that are linearly integrated in another linguistic structure but are typically disjoint from it in terms of constituent structure, compositional meaning, and intonation. The list of parenthetical expressions is long and includes non-restrictive relative clauses, nominal appositives, slifting parentheticals, “as”-parentheticals, “and”-parentheticals, clausal parentheticals, question tags, and speech act adverbs. This project aims at pulling together the different strands coming from previous literature and developing a comprehensive and predictive framework for studying the interpretational properties of the class of parenthetical expressions. The project will seek to establish the notion of “parenthetical meaning” as meaning that is divorced from the regular truth-conditional meaning of the main sentence but interacts with it (and the larger discourse) in various pragmatic ways. More specifically, parenthetical meaning will be investigated from the following three theoretical viewpoints:
- the scopal properties of parentheticals, i.e. the ways parenthetical content interacts with operators placed elsewhere in the sentence;
- the information status of parenthetical meaning, especially when compared to the regular assertion of the sentence;
- the potential role of parentheticals as speech act modifiers.
The main hypothesis to be pursued is that uttering a parenthetical expression constitutes an independent speech act, one that is separate and can differ in type from the speech act performed by the remaining sentence. A sentence with parentheticals then incorporates multiple speech acts, a fact from which its major semantic properties will be claimed to follow. In studying parenthetical meaning, the project will employ research methods from theoretical linguistics and cognitive science, including tools from compositional semantics, dynamic semantics, probabilistic reasoning, and statistical modeling. The project will uncover new patterns, offer original solutions, and drive the discussion on how different layers of meaning (e.g. assertion, presupposition, implicature, questioning, etc.) interact within and beyond the sentence level.
Tense and aspect in multilingual semantic construction
This project, funded by the Nuance Foundation, aims at identifyng the relevant morphological pieces and to devise a computationally viable semantic representation of tense and aspect for a diverse collection of languages that have been developed by participants in the ParGram Project, such as English, Georgian, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Norwegian, Polish, Turkish, Urdu and Wolof.