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Interactive Semantics and Pragmatic Compositionality Kasia M. Jaszczolt University of Cambridge

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  1. 1st International Pragmatics Conference of the Americas (AMPRA)and the 5th International Conference on Intercultural Pragmatics, 19-21 October 2012, University of North Carolina, Charlotte Interactive Semantics and Pragmatic Compositionality Kasia M. Jaszczolt University of Cambridge http://people.pwf.cam.ac.uk/kmj21

  2. ? ‘How much pragmatics’ is allowed in the semantic representation?

  3. What is expressed in the lexicon in one language may be expressed by grammar in another.

  4. What is expressed in the lexicon in one language may be expressed by grammar in another. What is expressed overtly in onelanguage may be left to pragmatic inference or default interpretation in another.

  5. Swahili: consecutive tense marker ka (1) a. …wa-Ingerezawa-li-wa-chukuawa-le maiti, 3Pl-British 3Pl-Past-3Pl-take 3Pl-Dem corpses ‘…then the British took the corpses, b. wa-ka-wa-tiakatikabaomoja, 3Pl-Cons-3Pl-put.on on board one put them on a flat board, c. wa-ka-ya-telemeshamaji-nikwautaratibu w-ote… 3Pl-Cons-3Pl-lower water-Loc with order 3Pl-all and lowered them steadily into the water…’ adapted from Givón (2005: 154)

  6. cf. rhetorical structure rules, Asher and Lascarides 2003 Narration: (2) Lidia played a sonata. The audience applauded. e1 e2

  7. Central Pomo Future can be realis or irrealis

  8. Thai (3) f3on t1ok rain fall (3a) It is raining. (default meaning) (3b) It was raining. (possible intended meaning)

  9. Minimalism/contextualism debate ‘Is semantic interpretation a matter of holistic guesswork (like the interpretation of kicks under the table), rather than an algorithmic, grammar-driven process as formal semanticists have claimed? Contextualism: Yes. Literalism: No. (…) Like Stanley and the formal semanticists, I maintain that the semantic interpretation is grammar-driven.’ Recanati (2012: 148)

  10. K.M. Jaszczolt, 2005, Default Semantics: Foundations of a Compositional Theory of Acts of Communication, Oxford: Oxford University Press. • K. M. Jaszczolt, 2010. ‘Default Semantics’. In: B. Heine and H. Narrog (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 215-246. • K. M. Jaszczolt, in progress, Interactive Semantics, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  11. Assumptions • The output of syntactic processing often leaves the meaning underdetermined.

  12. Assumptions • The output of syntactic processing often leaves the meaning underdetermined. • The object of study of a theory of meaning is a pragmatically modified representation. (Interactive Semantics is a radical contextualist theory.)

  13. Assumptions • The output of syntactic processing often leaves the meaning underdetermined. • The object of study of a theory of meaning is a pragmatically modified representation. (Interactive Semantics is a radical contextualist theory.) • There is no syntactic constraint on the object of study.

  14. (4)A:Shall we meet tomorrow? B: I’m in London. (4a) B is in London at the time of speaking. (4b) B will be in London the following day. (4c)B can’t meet A the following day.

  15. Interlocutors frequently communicate their main intended content through a proposition which is not syntactically restricted. Experimental evidence: Pitts 2005 Schneider 2009

  16. Merger Representation  • Primary meanings are modelled as merger representations.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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)

  21. (iv) properties of the human inferential system IS (5)The author of The Catcher in the Rye still shocks the readership. (5a)J. D. Salinger still shocks the readership.

  22. sources of information types of processes

  23. Mapping between sources and processes WK  SCWD or CPI SC  SCWD or CPI WS  WS (logical form) SD  CPI IS  CD DS makes use of the processing model and it indexes the components of  with a subscript standing for the type of processing.

  24. Compositionality of Primary Meanings • DS, IS: compositionality of utterance meaning rather than sentence meaning. Fodor (2008) compositionality of Mentalese only?

  25. 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)

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

  27. Two examples of applications

  28. Example 1 Representing Time: Pragmatic Compositionality

  29. Jaszczolt, K. M. in press. ‘Temporality and epistemic commitment: An unresolved question’, in: K. Jaszczolt & L. de Saussure (eds). Time: Language, Cognition, and Reality. Oxford: Oxford University Press (vol. 1 of Oxford Studies of Time in Language and Thought)

  30. Main questions • Is the human concept of time a universal concept? Probably yes • Is it primitive or composed of simpler concepts? Supervenient on properties of modality • How do linguistic expressions of time reflect it? Representations in Default Semantics/Interactive Semantics

  31. Time as Modality: Supervenience (i) supervenience of the concept of time on the concept of epistemic detachment (temporal properties on modal properties in semantics) (ii) supervenience of the concept of time on space-time (properties of the concept of time on properties of space-time). (i) + (ii): It is not just the construal of reality that requires modality; it is reality itself.

  32. Supervenience A set of properties T supervenes on a set of properties M iff no two things can differ with respect to T properties without also differing with respect to M properties. ‘There cannot be a T-difference without an M-difference.’ adapted from McLaughlin & Bennett 2005

  33. Merger Representations for the Past (6) Lidia went to a concert yesterday. (regular past) (7) This is what happened yesterday. Lidia goes to a concert, meets her school friend and tells her… (past of narration) (8) Lidia would have gone to a concert (then). (epistemic necessity past) (9) Lidia must have gone to a concert (yesterday). (epistemic necessity past) (10) Lidia may have gone to a concert (yesterday). (epistemic possibility past) (11) Lidia might have gone to a concert (yesterday). (epistemic possibility past)

  34. Fig. 3: Degree of epistemic commitment for selected expressions with past-time reference

  35. Acc ├ p ‘it is acceptable that it is the case that p’ Grice (2001)

  36. ACCΔ ├ Σ ‘it is acceptable to the degree Δ that Σ is true’

  37. amended and extended language of DRSs (Kamp and Reyle 1993)

  38. Fig. 4: Σ for ‘Lidia went to a concert yesterday.’ (regular past) Σ

  39. Past-time reference in Thai (pragmatic) (12)m3ae:r3i:I kh2ian n3iy3ai: Mary write novel

  40. Fig. 5:  for example (12) ‘Mary wrote a novel’ (regular past) 

  41. Capturing cross-linguistic differences Realis/irrealis future (Central Pomo): ACCΔ ├ Σ Consecutive tense (Swahili): WS + CPIpm

  42. Mapping Question qualitative differences between P, N, F quantitative modal differences( in ACC)

  43. quantitative concept (ACC ) qualitative concepts (P, N, F) (i) correlation or (ii) P, N, F as quantitative concepts

  44. Two possible solutions: Direct-Quantitative (DQ) & Modal-Contextualist (MC)

  45. Example 2 First-person reference in discourse

  46. De se • Grammar/pragmatics interface in conveying the intended de se meaning • Representing de se reports in Default/Interactive Semantics

  47. The scenario: (13) The person who agreed to organise the drinks is to blame. (14)I am to blame. I completely forgot I was put in charge. after Perry (1979: 3)