AUC Logic Lectures: Maria Aloni

Logic and Language: the case of Free Choice

15Apr2019 18:00 - 19:00


Formal semantics investigates natural language meanings using tools from formal logic.

In the presentation, I will first briefly introduce the field and then discuss the case of free choice (FC) inferences, where conjunctive meanings are derived from disjunctive sentences contrary to the prescriptions of classical logic.

There have been two main approaches to the challenge that FC inferences present for logic-based accounts of linguistic meanings: a pragmatic approach where FC inferences are treated as conversational implicatures derived as the product of rational interactions between cooperative language users and a semantic approach where FC inferences are treated as semantic entailments and therefore require the development of non-classical modal logics. After comparing the two approaches I will defend a novel hybrid approach where FC inferences are derived by allowing pragmatic principles intrude in the recursive process of meaning composition.


Maria Aloni (ILLC/UvA)

Location: Common Room
Amsterdam University College
Science Park 113, 1098 XG
Convenor: Dora Achourioti 

Published by  Amsterdam University College