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Title: Default Semantics Workshop


1
  • Default Semantics Workshop
  • University of Pisa, 8 May 2012
  • Kasia M. Jaszczolt
  • University of Cambridge
  • http//people.pwf.cam.ac.uk/kmj21

2
  • Part 1
  • Default Semantics and Interactive Semantics
  • An introduction
  • Part 2
  • Selected applications Temporal reference in
    discourse
  • Part 3
  • Selected applications First-person reference in
    discourse and beliefs de se

3
  • Part 1
  • Default Semantics and Interactive Semantics
  • An introduction
  • Part 2
  • Selected applications Temporal reference in
    discourse
  • Part 3
  • Selected applications First-person reference in
    discourse and beliefs de se

4
Outline
  • The Gricean legacy
  • Minimalism vs. contextualism debates
  • Interactive Semantics as a radical contextualist
    theory

5
Paul Grice Intentions
A meantNN something by x A uttered x with the
intention of inducing a belief by means of the
recognition of this intention. Grice 1957 in
1989, p. 219
6
Implicature (implicatum)
  • Inferences that are drawn from an utterance.
  • They are seen by the hearer as being intended
  • by the speaker.
  • Speakers implicate, hearers infer (Horn 2004).

7
Implicature (implicatum)
  • Inferences that are drawn from an utterance.
  • They are seen by the hearer as being intended
  • by the speaker.
  • Speakers implicate, hearers infer (Horn 2004).
  • Inference in implicature is cancellable
  • Tom has three children.
  • Tom has three children, if not four.
  • vs. deductive inference ((p ? q) ? p) ? q)

8
Modified Occams Razor
  • Senses are not to be multiplied beyond
    necessity.
  • Grice 1978 in 1989, p.47

9
Post-Gricean pragmatics
  • ? Where is the boundary between semantics and
    pragmatics?

10
? Contextualism (currently dominant view)
  •  
  • ... what is said turns out to be, in a large
    measure, pragmatically determined. Besides the
    conversational implicatures, which are external
    to (and combine with) what is said, there are
    other nonconventional, pragmatic aspects of
    utterance meaning, which are constitutive of what
    is said.
  • Recanati (1989 98 see also Recanati 2005,
    2010)

11
  • Some British people like cricket.
  • Some but not all British people like cricket.
  • Everybody read Frege.
  • Every member of the research group read Frege.

12
  • Semantic analysis takes us only part of the way
    towards the recovery of utterance meaning.
    Pragmatic enrichment completes the process.
  • Enrichment
  • some gt some but not all
  • everybody gt everybody in the room, every
    acquaintance of the speaker, etc.

13
  •  
  • Pragmatic enrichment of what is said is often
    automatic,
  • subconscious (Dafault/Interactive Semantics
    default).
  •  
  •  

14
Truth-Conditional Pragmatics (Recanati 2004,
2010)
  • Truth conditions of an utterance are determined
    not only by the assignment of values to
    indexicals (saturation) but also by modulation
    (top-down pragmatic processes).
  • Recanati (2004 90)
  • contextualism

15
Modulation (Recanati 2004, 2005)
  • The logical form becomes enriched/modulated as a
  • result of pragmatic inference and the entire
    semantic/pragmatic product becomes subjected to
    the truth-conditional analysis.

16
Modulation (Recanati 2004, 2005)
  • The logical form becomes ?enriched/modulated as
    a result of pragmatic inference and the entire
    semantic/pragmatic product becomes subjected to
    the truth-conditional analysis.

17
Beyond contextualism
  • ?
  • How far can the logical form be extended? How
    much pragmatics is allowed in the representation
    of the primary intended meaning of an utterance?

18
Semantic Minimalism
  • Minimal Semantics, Emma Borg (e.g. 2004, 2007)
  • Semantic theory must remain unaffected by
    pragmatic considerations. Semantics is confined
    sentence meaning and to accounting for deductive,
    formal operations.
  • The truth-conditional semantic theory is
    governed, not by rich () inferential processes,
    but rather by formally triggered, deductive
    operations.
  • Borg (2004 8)
  •  

19
  • That is red is true iff the contextually
    salient object is red.
  • Steel isnt strong enough is true iff steel
    isnt strong enough for something or other,
    salient in the context.
  •  

20
Semantic Minimalism?
  • Insensitive Semantics, Cappelen and Lepore (e.
    g. 2005)
  • A truth condition can be produced for a sentence
    even if we are not in a position to discern
    possible situations that would verify it. It is a
    mistake to assume that a semantic theory should
    account for speakers intuitions about the
    content of the utterance, i.e. about the
    speakers meaning.
  •  

21
Semantic Minimalism ?
  • Insensitive Semantics, Cappelen and Lepore (e.
    g. 2005)
  • A truth condition can be produced for a sentence
    even if we are not in a position to discern
    possible situations that would verify it. It is a
    mistake to assume that a semantic theory should
    account for speakers intuitions about the
    content of the utterance, i.e. about the
    speakers meaning.
  • Semantically context-sensitive expressions
    personal pronouns (I, he) demonstrative
    pronouns (this, that) adverbs (here,
    there, now, today, yesterday, tomorrow,
    ago, henceforth) adjectives (actual and
    present) tense.
  •  

22
  • Radical Semantic Minimalism, Bach (e. g. 2004,
    2007)
  • The semantics-pragmatics distinction is not fit
    to be blurred. What lies on either side of the
    distinction, the semantic and the pragmatic, may
    each be messy in various ways, but that doesnt
    blur the distinction itself. Taken as properties
    of sentences, semantic properties are on a par
    with syntactic and phonological properties they
    are linguistic properties. Pragmatic properties,
    on the other hand, belong to acts of uttering
    sentences in the course of communicating.
  • Bach (2004 27)
  • against propositionalism

23
State of the Art
  •  
  • There are several contextualist approaches to
    semantics and several minimalist ones and the
    debate is continuing.

24
Towards radical contextualism
  • ?
  • How far can the logical form be extended? How
    much pragmatics is allowed in the representation
    of the primary intended meaning of an utterance?

25
Default Semantics (Jaszczolt 2005,
2009, 2010)Interactive Semantics (Jaszczolt, in
progress, OUP)
  •  
  • Parsimony of Levels Principle (POL)
  • Levels of senses are not to be multiplied beyond
    necessity.
  •  
  • A Ive cut my finger.
  • B You are not going to die!
  •  
  • Primary, main meaning There is nothing to
    worry about.
  •  

26
  • Default Semantics abandons the syntactic
    constraint adopted on other post-Gricean
    contextualist accounts according to which the
    explicit content (explicature, what is said) has
    to be the development of the logical form (i.e.
    has to be added to the output of syntactic
    processing) of the sentence.
  • Primary meaning is defined as the most salient
    meaning intended by the speaker and recovered by
    the addressee and it may sometimes override the
    logical form of the sentence, as in B above.
  •  
  •  

27
  • Primary Intention Principle (PI)
  • The primary role of intention in communication
    is to secure the referent of the speaker's
    utterance.
  • The winner of the Nobel Prize for literature
    2010 is a good writer.
  • referential (Mario Vargas Llosa) gt attributive
    (whoever received the prize)
  •  
  •  

28
  •  
  • Degrees of Intentions Principle (DI)
  • Intentions come in various strength, i.e. they
    allow for degrees.
  •  
  • Ralph believes that the best architect designed
    Sagrada Família.
  • de re (Antoni Gaudí) gt de dicto1 (Simon
    Guggenheim) gt de dicto2 (whoever designed that
    church)

29
Merger representations
  • What is expressed in the lexicon in one
    language may be expressed by grammar in
    another.

30
Merger representations
  • What is expressed in the lexicon in one
    language may be expressed by grammar in
    another.
  • What is expressed overtly in one language may
    be left to pragmatic inference or default
    interpretation in another.

31
  • e.g. sentential connectives
  • Wari (Chapacura-Wanham, the Amazon)
  • Tzeltal (Mayan, Mexico) no or
  • Maricopa (Yuman, Arizona) no and
  • Guugu Yimithirr (Australian Aboriginal) no if
  • cf. Mauri van der Auwera 2012. Evans
    Levinson 2009

32
English and
  • Tom finished the chapter and closed the book.
  • and gt and then
  • Tom finished the chapter and then closed the
    book.
  • Tom finished the chapter. He closed the book.

33
rhetorical structure rules, Asher and Lascarides
2003
  • Narration
  • Tom finished the chapter. He closed the book.
  • e1 ? e2

34
No or in Wari?
  • Absence of a disjunctive marker ? presence of
    some irrealis marker
  • am e ca am mi pin ca
  • perhaps live 3SG.M. Perhaps give complete
    3SG.M.
  • Either he will live or he will die.
  • from Mauri and van der Auwera (2012 391)

35
  • while perhaps none of the logical connectives
    are universally lexically expressed, there is no
    evidence that languages differ in whether or not
    logical connectives are present in their logical
    forms.
  • von Fintel Matthewson (2008 170)

36
Composition of meaning
  • Ascribing generative capacity to syntax (Chomsky
    and followers)
  • Compositionality as a property of semantics
  • Montague and followers, e.g. DRT, DPL,
    representationalism
  • Evans and Levinson (2009), generative power of
    semantics/pragmatics (conceptual structure)

37
  • Pragmatic, interactive compositionality
    (post-Gricean contextualists, e.g. Recanatis
    Truth-Conditional Pragmatics Jaszczolts Default
    Semantics)

38
von Fintel and Matthewson (2008 191)
  • We found that languages often express
    strikingly similar truth conditions, in spite of
    non-trivial differences in lexical semantics or
    syntax. We suggested that it may therefore be
    fruitful to investigate the validity of purely
    semantic universals, as opposed to
    syntax-semantics universals.

39
? What are they?
  • vFM (2008)
  • (i) some universal semantic composition
    principles
  • (ii) Gricean principles of utterance
    interpretation
  • ? semantic/pragmatic processing principles

40
  • For our generativist critics, generality is to
    be found at the level of structural
    representation for us, at the level of process
  • Evans and Levinson (2009 475)

41
  • Compositionality is a semantic universal

42
Conceptual structure in Default Semantics
  • Unit of analysis
  • Sources of information contributing to the unit
  • Pragmatic compositionality
  • Merger representations towards a formalization

43
  • ?
  • How far can the logical form be extended? How
    much pragmatics is allowed in the semantic
    representation?

44
  • The logical form of the sentence can not only be
    extended but also replaced by a new semantic
    representation when the primary, intended meaning
    demands it. Such extensions or substitutions are
    primary meanings and their representations are
    merger representations in Default Semantics.
    There is no syntactic constraint on merger
    representations.

45
  • Object of study of the theory of meaning
  • Discourse meaning intended by Model Speaker and
    recovered by Model Addressee (primary meaning)

46
Radical contextualism?
  • DS does not recognize the level of meaning at
    which the logical form is pragmatically
    developed/modulated as a real, interesting, and
    cognitively justified construct.
  • To do so would be to assume that syntax plays a
    privileged role among various carriers of
    information (contextualists mistake).

47
  • Child to mother Everybody has a bike.
  • (a) All of the childs friends have bikes.
  • (b) Many/most of the childs classmates have
    bikes.
  • (c) The mother should consider buying her son a
    bike.
  • (d) Cycling is a popular form of exercise among
    children.

48
  • Child to mother Everybody has a bike.
  • (a) All of the childs friends have bikes.
  • (b) Many/most of the childs classmates have
    bikes.
  • (c) The mother should consider buying her son a
    bike.
  • (d) Cycling is a popular form of exercise among
    children.

49
  • Child Can I climb the Leaning Tower?
  • Mother You are too small.
  • (a) The child is too small to climb the Leaning
    Tower of Pisa.
  • (b) The child cant climb the Leaning Tower of
    Pisa.

50
  • Child Can I climb the Leaning Tower?
  • Mother You are too small.
  • (a) The child is too small to climb the Leaning
    Tower of Pisa.
  • (b) The child cant climb the Leaning Tower of
    Pisa.

51
  • Interlocutors frequently communicate their main
    intended content through a proposition which is
    not syntactically restricted.
  • Experimental evidence
  • Nicolle and Clark 1999
  • Pitts 2005
  • Sysoeva and Jaszczolt 2007
  • Schneider 2009

52
Merger Representation ?
  • Primary meanings are modelled as the so-called
    merger representations.

53
Merger Representation ?
  • Primary meanings are modelled as merger
    representations.
  • The outputs of sources of information about
    meaning merge and all the outputs are treated on
    an equal footing.

54
Merger Representation ?
  • Primary meanings are modelled as the so-called
    merger representations.
  • The outputs of sources of information about
    meaning merge and all the outputs are treated on
    an equal footing. The syntactic constraint is
    abandoned.
  • Merger representations have the status of mental
    representations.

55
Merger Representation ?
  • Primary meanings are modelled as merger
    representations.
  • The outputs of sources of information about
    meaning merge and all the outputs are treated on
    an equal footing. The syntactic constraint is
    abandoned.
  • Merger representations have the status of mental
    representations.
  • They have a compositional structure they are
    proposition-like, truth-conditionally evaluable
    constructs.

56
Sources of information for ?
  • (i) world knowledge (WK)
  • (ii) word meaning and sentence structure (WS)
  • (iii) situation of discourse (SD)
  • (iv) properties of the human inferential system
    (IS)
  • (v) stereotypes and presumptions about society
    and culture (SC)

57
SC
  • A Botticelli was stolen from the Uffizi last
    week.
  • A painting by Botticelli was stolen from the
    Uffizi Gallery in Florence last week.

58
IS
  • The author of Wolf Hall is visiting Cambridge
    this spring.
  • Hilary Mantel is visiting Cambridge this spring.

59
(No Transcript)
60
  • The model of sources of information can be
    mapped onto types of processes that produce the
    merger representation ? of the primary meaning
    and the additional (secondary) meanings.

61
(No Transcript)
62
Mapping between sources and processes
  • WK ? SCWD or CPI
  • SC ? SCWD or CPI
  • WS ? WS (logical form)
  • SD ? CPI
  • IS ? CD
  • In building merger representations DS makes use
    of the processing model and it indexes the
    components of ? with a subscript standing for the
    type of processing.

63
  • Merger representations are compositional.

64
Compositionality is a methodological principle
  • it is always possible to satisfy
    compositionality by simply adjusting the
    syntactic and/or semantic tools one uses, unless
    that is, the latter are constrained on
    independent grounds.
  • Groenendijk and Stokhof (1991 93)

65
  • or
  • Compositionality should be an empirical
    assumption about the nature of possible human
    languages.
  • Szabó (2000)

66
  • Fodor (2008)
  • compositionality on the level of referential
    properties (for Mentalese)

67
Selected applications of DS
  • Origins Jaszczolt 1992, 1999. Parsimony of
    Levels (POL) Principle Levels of senses are not
    to be multiplied beyond necessity.
  • First applications definite descriptions, proper
    names, and belief reports (Jaszczolt 1997, 1999)
    negation and discourse connectives (Lee 2002)
    presupposition, sentential connectives, number
    terms (Jaszczolt 2005)
  • Recent applications temporality, and modality
    (Jaszczolt 2009 Srioutai 2004, 2006 Jaszczolt
    and Srioutai 2012 Engemann 2008 Jaszczolt
    forthcoming a,b) syntactic constraint on primary
    meaning (Sysoeva and Jaszczolt 2007 Schneider
    2009 Jaszczolt 2012) first-person reference and
    de se belief reports (Jaszczolt forthcoming c, d)

68
Definite NPs in English
  • The author of Wolf Hall is coming to Cambridge.
  • The author of Wolf Hall (whoever he or she is)
    is coming to Cambridge.
  • Hilary Mantel is coming to Cambridge.
  • Michael Morpurgo is coming to Cambridge.

69
  • Degrees of Intentions (DI) Principle
  • Intentions and intentionality allow for degrees.
  • Primary Intention (PI) Principle
  • The primary role of intention in communication
    is to secure the referent of the speakers
    utterance.
  • Jaszczolt (1999 xix)

70
?
Fig. 3 Partial merger representation for the
default referential reading of The author of
Wolf Hall is coming to Cambridge.
71
?
Fig. 4 Partial merger representation for the
referential mistake reading of The author of
Wolf Hall is coming to Cambridge.
72
?
Fig. 5 Partial merger representation for the
attributive reading of The author of Wolf Hall
is coming to Cambridge.
73
Cancellability and the syntactic constraint
(Jaszczolt 2009b)
  • H1 Cancellability applies equally to explicit and
    implicit content.
  • H2 Primary meanings, be it explicit or implicit,
    are more difficult to cancel than secondary
    meanings.

74
Cancellation of explicit meaning which functions
as secondary meaning ?
  • A and B are talking about a family
  • dinner, remarking on the fact that it consisted
    of five courses.
  • A Was the food good?
  • B Some people liked mums cake.
  • (gtPM The food at the family dinner was not
    particularly good.)
  • (gtSM Some but not all people liked mums cake.)
  • In fact, all of them did but this didnt save
    the dinner.
  • non-arising or promptly cancelled

75
(ii) Primary meaning cancelled x
  • A and B are talking about a family dinner.
  • A Was the food good?
  • B Some people liked mums cake.
  • (gtPM The food at the family dinner was not
    particularly good.)
  • But that is not to say that other courses were
    bad, I was late and arrived only for the dessert.
  • pragmatically ill-formed

76
  • ? Potential implicatures functioning as primary
    meanings differ from potential implicatures
    functioning as secondary meanings with respect to
    the property of cancellability. Potential main,
    intended meanings are considerably entrenched.

77
  • ? Cancellation supports the DS primary/secondary
    meaning distinction and the rejection of the
    Syntactic Constraint

78
Summary
  • Radical contextualism without the syntactic
    constraint
  • Primary/secondary distinction as orthogonal to
    the explicit/implicit distinction
  • Pragmatic compositionality

79
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80
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81
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