8.3026 Intensional SemanticsHinterwimmer, Umbach
BSc Prüfungsgebiet: Computerlinguistik
MSc: Major subject
MSc major: Linguistics and Computational Linguistics
Prerequisites: Introduction to Linguistics, or equivalent knowledge. Introduction to Semantics will be helpful (but is not obligatory).
One of the most distinctive features of human language is the displacement property: we can talk about situations that are (temporally or spatially) remote from the utterance situation, cf. (1a,b).
(1) a. Maria is in Berlin right now.
b. Yesterday, I fixed my bike.
Even more strikingly, human languages allow us to talk about alternative ways the world might be or might have been, cf. (2a,b).
(2) a. Klaus should have stayed at home yesterday evening.
b. Claudia would be able to answer your question.
In this course, we will have a close look at a number of words and constructions that express temporal or modal displacement such as modal auxiliaries (would, should,...), tense makers (will, -ed,...) and propositional attitude verbs (believe, want,...). We will see that the introduction of abstract entities like time intervals and possible worlds, and of operators quantifying over them enables us to develop precise, testable theories about the meaning contributions of such items in various languages.
The course will be organized as a block seminar distributed over two blocks with two days each, and two intermediate 90-minute sessions. In the first block we will introduce the phenomena to be considered as well as the basics of the formal methods to be employed. The students are then assigned little research tasks the results of which are to be presented in the final block. In the two intermediate sessions, advice will be given, open issues can be clarified, and intermediate results can be discussed.
Block 1: Fri, 5th Oct + Sat, 6th Oct (9.00 - 15.00, including breaks)
Intermediate sessions: Wed 17th Oct (16.00 - 18.00)
Wed, 31st Oct , 16.00 - 18.00.
Block 2: Fri, 9th Nov + Sat 10th Nov (9.00 - 15.00, including breaks)