Month: March 2023

Talk of interest on 03/31: Maria Aloni

Each year the UConn Logic Group chooses invites a distinguished “scholar of consequence” to deliver our Annual Logic Lecture. This year’s speaker is Maria Aloni (ILLC, University of Amsterdam). Her lecture will take place this Friday, March 31, 11am-1pm in ITE 336. This is an in-person event, but a zoom option will be available for those who cannot come (zoom link to be shared  by email).

Nothing is Logical

People often reason contrary to the prescriptions of classical logic. In the talk I will discuss some cases of divergence between everyday and logical-mathematical reasoning and propose that they are a consequence of a tendency in human cognition to neglect models which verify sentences by virtue of an empty configuration [neglect-zero tendency, Aloni 2022]. I will then introduce a bilateral state-based modal logic (BSML) which formally represents the neglect-zero tendency and can be used to rigorously study its impact on reasoning and interpretation. After discussing some of the applications, I will compare BSML with related systems (truthmaker semantics, possibility semantics, and inquisitive semantics) via translations into Modal Information Logic [van Benthem 2019].

Maria Aloni. Logic and conversation: The case of free choice, Semantics and Pragmatics, vol 15 (2022)
Johan van Benthem. Implicit and Explicit Stances in Logic, Journal of Philosophical Logic, vol 48, pages 571–601 (2019)

Seminar of interest on 03/30: Maria Aloni

Maria Aloni (ILLC, University of Amsterdam), the Logic Groups “scholar of consequence” this year, will make an appearance in the semantics seminar on Thursday, March 30, 9:30-12:15 in HBL 2153. The session will begin with a presentation and discussion of her work on (non-)specific indefinites (title and abstract below). The latter part of the session will be devoted to the topic of her Annual Logic Lecture the following day. This is a paper which was discussed in the seminar earlier in the semester. Contact the instructors, Jon Gajewski and Magdalena Kaufmann, for details.

(Non-)specificity across languages: constancy, variation, -variation – Maria Aloni and Marco Degano

Abstract: Indefinites are known to give rise to different scopal (specific vs nonspecific) and epistemic (known vs unknown) uses. Farkas and Brasoveanu [2020] explained these specificity distinctions in terms of stability vs. variability in value assignments of the variable introduced by the indefinite. Typological research [Haspelmath, 1997] showed that indefinites have different
functional distributions with respect to these uses. In this work, we present a formal framework where Farkas and Brasoveanu [2020]’s ideas are rigorously formalized. We develop a two-sorted team semantics which integrates both scope and epistemic effects. We apply the framework to explain typological variety of indefinites, their restricted distribution and licensing conditions, and some diachronic developments of indefinite forms.

D. Farkas and A. Brasoveanu. Kinds of (Non)Specificity. The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Semantics, pages 1–26, 2020.
M. Haspelmath. Indefinite Pronouns. Oxford University Press, 1997.