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LINGUIST List 17.1421

Mon May 08 2006

Confs: Cognitive Science/Semantics/Brussels, Belgium

Editor for this issue: Kevin Burrows <kevinlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Mikhail Kissine, Utterance Interpretation and Cognitive Models

Message 1: Utterance Interpretation and Cognitive Models
Date: 04-May-2006
From: Mikhail Kissine <mkissineulb.ac.be>
Subject: Utterance Interpretation and Cognitive Models

Utterance Interpretation and Cognitive Models

Date: 23-Jun-2006 - 24-Jun-2006
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Contact: Mikhail Kissine
Contact Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; Philosophy of Language; Pragmatics; Semantics

Meeting Description:

Among the central issues in the philosophy of language, the determination of the content conveyed by sentences on the occasion of their utterance is certainly one that is of major importance to linguists and cognitive scientists. Over the years, a modicum of agreement has emerged as to what aspects of utterance meaning pertain to the most pragmatic layers of interpretation. The focus of the debate has now moved to issues like the literal, truth-conditional or propositional content of utterances: is it entirely a matter for semantics to deal with, or does pragmatics affect that content (and, if so, to what extent)? Around these issues, several major positions have emerged, ranging from so-called ‘radical contextualism’ (pragmatics massively impacts on truth-conditional content) to equally radical ‘semantic minimalism’ (there is no such pragmatic impact), through ‘moderate contextualism’ and ‘truth relativism’.

While the debate is still raging, we have thought it useful take a step back and look at how the various theories fit, or can be made to fit, into general models of cognition. We have gone on the assumption that compatibility with a plausible cognitive framework is a legitimate goal for linguistic inquiry. In other words, we endorse the view that theories of language (and language use) should be prepared to commit themselves to any conception of the human mind with which they are compatible.

We hope that the Brussels workshop will offer an opportunity for language scholars to present their views on the mechanisms underpinning the interpretation of (certain aspects of) utterances. Our expectation is that putting these issues in the light of broader psychological assumptions should clarify the debate about the semantics/pragmatics distinction and provide a fresh perspective for the evaluation of the different schools of thought that attempt to answer the tough question: how much of the meaning of expressions must be accounted for by semantics, and how much by pragmatics?

The following keynote speakers have confirmed their participation:
Herman Cappelen (University of Oslo)
Marc Dominicy (Université Libre De Bruxelles)
François Recanati (Institut Jean Nicod, CNRS Paris)
Deirdre Wilson (University College London)

Brussels, 23-24 June 2006

Provisional program


Keynote lecture:
DEIRDRE WILSON (University College London)

ELISABETTA LALUMERA (Università degli studi di Bologna)
More than words

Conceptual models and utterance interpretation: a case study from movement verbs

Keynote lecture:
MARC DOMINICY (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
Evocation and the typology of concepts

GALIT W. SASSOON (Tel Aviv University)
Category structure, context, and truth conditions

PETER BOSCH (University of Osnabrueck)
Predicate indexicality

MARK JARY (Roehampton University)
Interpreting explicit performatives: a cognitive perspective

CLAUDIA GRAF (Johann Wolfgang-Goethe Universität Frankfurt)
All raising declaratives are attributive? A reply to Gunlogson


Kenynote lecture:
FRANÇOIS RECANATI (Institut Jean Nicod)
Pragmatics and logical form

BART GEURTS & NAUSICAA POUSCOULOUS (University of Nijmegen & Institut Jean Nicod)
Local implicatures?

IRA NOVECK & CORALIE CHEVALIER (Institut des Sciences Cognitives, Lyon)
Semantic and then pragmatic influences in enriching the meaning of 'and'

Keynote lecture:
HERMAN CAPPELEN (University of Oslo)
Relativism, pluralism, and semantic blindness

MARINA TERKOURAFI (University of Cambridge)
What use is 'what is said'?

FERNANDO MARTÍNEZ-MANRIQUE & AGUSTÍN VICENTE (Universidad de Granada &Universidad de Valladolid)
On the testability of minimalist theories

STEFANO PREDELLI (University of Nottingham)
Communicated content and logical relations. The explanatory role of the
semantics/pragmatics distinction

contact person: mkissineulb.ac.be

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