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Introduction to Pragmatics


Introduction to Pragmatics

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 implicatures; (pre)supposition, at-issueness and projective meaning; and indexicality and perspectival content.  In all these realms, we’ll consider relevant literature from experimental psycholinguistics, and draw in cross-linguistic evidence where available.  One of our goals in the course is to explore criteria for the development of cross-linguistic diagnostic tools for the investigation of the phenomena under analysis

Course Status: Closed

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Four-week Session


Monday: 10:30 am-12:20 pm
Thursday: 10:30 am-12:20 pm




Some background in semantics will be useful; the course may be taken concurrently with the Introduction to Semantics.