Month: April 2018

Talk of interest on April 27: Joe Buffington, Albany Law School

The Logic Colloquium on Friday, April 27 at 2:30pm in Oak 112, will be given by Joe Buffington (Albany Law School).

The syntax and semantics of contractual offers

I will be talking about the syntax and semantics of contractual offers. In particular, I will be exploring whether there are any linguistic reasons for modeling contractual offers (as in, “If you do X for me, then I’ll do Y for you.”) as conditional promises, as is often taken to be the case in the legal literature.

Talk on April 24: Woojin Chung, NYU

We will be meeting on Tuesday, April 24, at 11am in Manchester Hall 227, for a talk by Woojin Chung (NYU Linguistics) on “Obligation as counterfactual reasoning”. Abstract below.

Obligation as counterfactual reasoning

Korean and Japanese modal expressions inform about the composition of deontic modality which is not evident from languages that express modal concepts via an auxiliary. They are expressed in terms of a conditional and an evaluative predicate ‘good’. I propose that obligation does not set up the domain of quantification in which the prejacent is evaluated. Instead, it makes deontic judgments as to what would be the case if the prejacent were true or false, respectively. I show that the proposed semantics offers a principled account of Zvolenszky’s puzzle (Zvolenszky 2002) and Ross’s paradox (Ross 1944).

Meeting on April 17: Mizuno and Kaufmann

We will be meeting on Tuesday, April 17, at 11am in Manchester Hall 227, for a preview of an upcoming conference presentation by Teruyuki Mizuno and Stefan Kaufmann titled “Past-as-Past in Japanese Counterfactuals” (Chicago Linguistic Society, April 26-28).

As a background reading, we recommend Toshiyuki Ogihara’s (2014) “The Semantics of -ta in Japanese Future Conditionals“, in Crnič, Luka and Uli Sauerland (eds.), The Art and Craft of Semantics: A Festschrift for Irene Heim.