Month: September 2021

Talk of interest on 10/01: Dilip Ninan (Tufts)

The UConn Logic Colloquium will feature Dilip Ninan (Philosophy, Tufts University) on Friday, October 1, 2:30-4:00pm, in ITE 336. Details can be found on the Logic Group website.

An Expressivist Theory of Taste Predicates

Simple taste predications typically come with an ‘acquaintance requirement’: they normally require the speaker to have had a certain kind of first-hand experience with the object of predication. For example, if I told you that the crème caramel is delicious, you would ordinarily assume that I have actually tasted the crème caramel and am not simply relying on the testimony of others. The present essay argues in favor of a ‘lightweight’ expressivist account of the acquaintance requirement. This account consists of a recursive semantics and a ‘supervaluational’ account of assertion; it is compatible with a number of different accounts of truth and content, including contextualism, relativism, and purer forms of expressivism. The principal argument in favor of this account is that it correctly predicts a wide range of data concerning how the acquaintance requirement interacts with Boolean connectives, generalized quantifiers, epistemic modals, and attitude verbs.

Meeting on 09/10: Muyi Yang

The Meaning Group will meet on Friday, September 10, 1:15-2:15pm, in Oak 338. Our own Muyi Yang will present her work on Japanese nara-conditionals.

Sensitive to future: the discourse dynamics of Japanese nara-conditionals

This study investigates the felicity condition of Japanese nara-conditionals. It has been observed that such conditionals require discourse-saliency in the sense that the antecedent “always expresses new information that has just entered the consciousness of the speaker at the discourse site” (Akatsuka 1985: 628). Based on novel observations about the sensitivity of nara to different types of preceding discourse moves (e.g., assertions, questions), I show that Akatsuka’s view is not fine-grained enough. I argue that nara-conditionals require that the antecedent be in some possible future context set provided by the actual context, and implement the idea in Farkas & Bruce’s (2010) Table model. The proposed account makes correct predictions for the interaction between nara-conditionals and (i) directive speech acts, (ii) contrastive strategy of question-answering, and (iii) evidentiality.

For online participation, contact Magdalena Kaufmann.