Amsterdam Colloquium 2009

Amsterdam Colloquium 2009: Workshops


Implicatures and Grammar
Organizers: Maria Aloni and Katrin Schulz
Programme Committee: Katrin Schulz (chair), Reinhard Blutner, Chris Potts, Angelika Port and Henk Zeevat
Since the seminal work of  Grice, there has been an intense debate in the literature on the relationship between (i) literal meaning assigned by grammar and (ii) defeasible inferences based on language use (conversational implicatures). Many hybrid notions have been introduced since then: conventional implicatures, generalized implicatures,  fossilized implicatures, local implicatures, obligatory implicatures. The  main goal of the workshop is to clarify exactly how these notions relate to each other.
 Invited speaker:  Chris Potts (Stanford University)

 Natural Logic
 Organizer: Jan van Eijck
 A natural logic for natural language is a logic whose structure mirrors that of the natural language syntax.  A prime example is syllogistic reasoning expressed in natural language. Point of departure is that syntactic structure directly conveys logical structure and meaning. The workshop looks at interesting fragments,and aims to connect up with cognitive science and AI.

Invited speaker: Larry Moss (Indiana University)

Organizers: Robert van Rooij and Frank Veltman
Vagueness is a pervasive feature of natural language. The philosophical discussion on 'vagueness' concentrates on the notion of `tolerance'. A expression is vague, or has a tolerant meaning, if it is insensitive to small changes in the objects to which it can be meaningfully predicated. A central philosophical problem is whether vague predicates really give rise to inconsistency, as the Sorites paradox suggests. The discussion of `vagueness' in linguistics mostly focuses on the interpretation of so-called `gradable adjectives' and their use in comparatives. Economists have recently `discovered' vagueness, and try to explain why vagueness is so pervasive in natural languages. In this workshop we want to bring together those ways of thinking about vagueness.
Invited Speaker: Fred Landman (Tel Aviv University)