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  • Data-driven Computational Pragmatics

    Shlomo Engelson Argamon, Jonathan Dunn

    This course introduces data-driven computational pragmatics, an empirical approach to pragmatics which uses large amounts of linguistic data with only computational annotations to learn models describing pragmatic phenomena. Data-driven computational pragmatics offers two important advantages: (1) experiments which require no direct human intervention can be run on massive amounts of linguistic data; (2) subtle pragmatic phenomena which are below the level of consciousness of individual analysts can be detected and described.

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  • Experimental Pragmatics

    Gregory Ward, William S. Horton

    The emerging field of experimental pragmatics combines an interest in the theoretical complexities of language use with the experimental methodologies of psycholinguistics. This course will present a broad survey of recent work in this area that has attempted to apply the methods of experimental psychology to classic issues in theoretical pragmatics. Each class session will include both theoretical and experimental readings on topics such as reference, implicature, and speech acts.

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  • Introduction to Pragmatics

    Craige Roberts

    We’ll consider an integrated general approach to the study of the role of context in interpretation.  Beginning with a model of discourse context based on work by Stalnaker (1979), Lewis (1979), and Roberts (1996), we’ll consider how this notion of context can be integrated into a dynamic semantics, one in which context is updated in the course of compositional interpretation.  In the course of this investigation, we’ll consider some classical issues in pragmatics which are currently under intensive investigation in the literature, including scalar implicatures, exhaustiveness and embedded

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  • Language and Law

    Lawrence Solan

    During the past half century, enormous strides have been made by linguists, philosophers and cognitive psychologists in coming to an understanding of the human language faculty.  Some of this progress has direct implications for the legal system.  This course is designed to study some of the most interesting of these interactions.  In particular, we will ask how this learning should cause us to question some of the tacit assumptions about language that are embedded in the law, and how knowledge about the human language faculty can bear directly on the resolution of disputes within the legal

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  • Probabilistic Pragmatics

    Judith Degen, Dan Lassiter

    Pragmatics was once thought of as the ‘wastebasket’ of linguistics: as the caricature went, phenomena that were too complex to handle in the semantics were pushed to the mushy pragmatics, where they were dispatched with hand-wavy “just-so” stories. Recent developments in cognitive science have provided us with a new set of tools for modeling pragmatic listener behavior as social reasoning about a speaker who is assumed to have the communicative intention of informing their listener.

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  • Processing Discourse Coherence

    Hannah Rohde

    The nature of a coherent discourse is that the utterances within it do not appear together arbitrarily but, rather, relate to each other in meaningful ways.  The establishment of intersentential coherence relations is hence fundamental to language use and language understanding. This course will introduce students to ongoing research in experimental pragmatics that analyzes the reasoning and inferences that are brought to bear in the establishment of intersentential coherence relations.

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  • The Relationship between Social Meaning and Formal Semantics/Pragmatics

    E. Allyn Smith

    This course takes a holistic perspective on what constitutes meaning in natural language, looking at semantic, pragmatic and social factors. We examine various empirical phenomena that have been studied through different lenses across subfields, such as honorifics, deictics, and sentence-final rising intonation in an attempt to see whether existing research from one perspective may advance theories in another.

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