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Workshop Interactional Foundations for Language LAGB, University of Leeds, 1 September 2010 organizers: Kasia Jaszczolt and Stephen Levinson This workshop.

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Presentation on theme: "Workshop Interactional Foundations for Language LAGB, University of Leeds, 1 September 2010 organizers: Kasia Jaszczolt and Stephen Levinson This workshop."— Presentation transcript:

1 Workshop Interactional Foundations for Language LAGB, University of Leeds, 1 September 2010 organizers: Kasia Jaszczolt and Stephen Levinson This workshop addresses some of the interactional foundations for language, the underlying communicational competences that make language possible. Crucial to the nature of responses in verbal interaction is the ability to rapidly detect the main point or illocutionary force of an utterance in context. Some sense of the universal nature of the capacities involved can be inferred from communication before language acquisition and from cross-cultural regularities in this domain. These talks focus on one aspect or another of these foundations for human communication. 1

2 Kasia Jaszczolt (University of Cambridge) ‘On pragmatic compositionality’ Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen (University of Helsinki) ‘Recognizing actions in interaction’ tea break Ulf Liszkowski (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics) ‘Prelinguistic foundations of human communication’ Nick Enfield (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and Radboud University) ‘Sources of asymmetry in human interaction’ Stephen Levinson’s comments and general discussion 2

3 Workshop ‘Interactional Foundations for Language’ LAGB, University of Leeds, 1 September 2010 On Pragmatic Compositionality Kasia M. Jaszczolt University of Cambridge 3

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

5 e.g. sentential connectives: Wari’ (Chapacura-Wanham, the Amazon) Tzeltal (Mayan, Mexico) no ‘or’ Maricopa (Yuman, Arizona) no ‘and’ Guugu Yimithirr (Australian Aboriginal)no ‘if’ cf. Mauri & van der Auwera, forthc.; Evans & Levinson

6 English ‘and’ (1)Tom finished the chapter and closed the book. and +> and then (2)Tom finished the chapter and then closed the book. (3)Tom finished the chapter. He closed the book. 6

7 Swahili: consecutive tense marker ka (4) a.…wa-Ingereza wa-li-wa-chukuawa-lemaiti, 3Pl-British 3Pl-Past-3Pl-take3Pl-Demcorpses ‘…then the British took the corpses, b.wa-ka-wa-tiakatika baomoja, 3Pl-Cons-3Pl-put.ononboardone put them on a flat board, c.wa-ka-ya-telemeshamaji-nikwautaratibu w-ote… 3Pl-Cons-3Pl-lower water-Locwithorder 3Pl-all and lowered them steadily into the water…’ adapted from Givón (2005: 154) 7

8 rhetorical structure rules, Asher and Lascarides 2003 Narration: Tom finished the chapter.He closed the book. e 1  e 2 8

9 No ‘or’ in Wari’? Absence of a disjunctive marker  presence of some irrealis marker (5)’am ’e’ ca ’am mi’ pin ca perhapslive3SG.M.perhapsgivecomplete 3SG.M. ‘Either he will live or he will die.’ from Mauri and van der Auwera (fortc.: 12) 9

10 ‘…while perhaps none of the logical connectives are universally lexically expressed, there is no evidence that languages differ in whether or not logical connectives are present in their logical forms’. von Fintel &Matthewson (2008: 170) 10

11 Composition of meaning Ascribing generative capacity to syntax (Chomsky and followers) Compositionality as a property of semantics (Montague and followers, e.g. DRT, DPL, representationalism) 11

12 Pragmatic, interactive compositionality (post-Gricean contextualists, e.g. Recanati’s Truth-Conditional Pragmatics; Jaszczolt’s Default Semantics) 12

13 von Fintel and Matthewson (2008) *Strong Effability Hypothesis (Katz) ‘Every proposition is the sense of some sentence in each natural language.’ 13

14 * Translatability Thesis (Katz) ‘For any pair of natural languages and for any sentence S in one and any sense σ of S, there is at least one sentence S’ in the other language such that σ is a sense of S’. ’ 14

15 von Fintel and Matthewson (2008: 191): ‘We found that languages often express strikingly similar truth conditions, in spite of non-trivial differences in lexical semantics or syntax. We suggested that it may therefore be fruitful to investigate the validity of ‘purely semantic’ universals, as opposed to syntax-semantics universals’. 15

16  What are they? vF&M (2008): (i) some universal semantic composition principles(?) (ii) Gricean principles of utterance interpretation(?)  semantic/pragmatic processing principles 16

17 Evans and Levinson (2009) generative power of semantics/pragmatics (conceptual structure) e.g. ‘…although recursion may not be found in the syntax of languages, it is always found in the conceptual structure, that is, the semantics or pragmatics – in the sense that it is always possible in any language to express complex propositions’ (p. 444) Universals: ‘For our generativist critics, generality is to be found at the level of structural representation; for us, at the level of process’ (p. 475) 17

18 ‘universals’  ‘universal principles’, ‘universal processes’, including methodological assumptions about theory of processing 18

19 … such as the principle of compositionality: the meaning of a complex expression is determined by the meanings of its parts and the structure in which they are combined (Frege, Montague, Partee) vs. lexical universals I, you, big, small…; semantic types t,e; conservativity of determiners; N,V, Adj, … etc. 19

20 focus on language diversity or universal patterns? X 20

21 Outline Meaning in contextualism Compositionality in Default Semantics – Merger representations  – Sources of information contributing to  – Processes that produce  – Pragmatic compositionality Examples of applications (Jaszczolt, e.g. 2005, 2009, 2010) 21

22 Post-Gricean theory of utterance/discourse meaning radical pragmatics sense-generality contextualism 22

23 (6) Some British people like cricket. (6a) Some but not all British people like cricket. (7) Everybody read Frege. (7a) Every member of the research group read Frege. 23

24 Semantic analysis takes us only part of the way towards the recovery of utterance meaning. Pragmatic enrichment completes the process. Enrichment: some +> some but not all everybody +> everybody in the room, every acquaintance of the speaker, etc. 24

25 Modulation (Recanati 2004, 2005): The logical form becomes enriched/modulated as a result of pragmatic inference and the entire semantic/pragmatic product becomes subjected to the truth-conditional analysis. 25

26 Modulation (Recanati 2004, 2005): The logical form becomes ? enriched/modulated as a result of pragmatic inference and the entire semantic/pragmatic product becomes subjected to the truth-conditional analysis. 26

27 Beyond contextualism ? How far can the logical form be extended? ‘How much pragmatics’ is allowed in the representation of the primary intended meaning of an utterance? 27

28 merger representations of Default Semantics (DS): There is no syntactic constraint on merger representations. DS does not recognize the level of meaning at which the logical form is pragmatically developed/modulated as a real, cognitively justified construct. To do so would be to assume that syntax plays a privileged role among various carriers of information (contextualists’ mistake). 28

29 (8) Child to mother: Everybody has a bike. (8a) All of the child’s friends have bikes. (8b) Many/most of the child’s classmates have bikes. (8c) The mother should consider buying her son a bike. (8d) Cycling is a popular form of exercise among children. 29

30 (8) Child to mother: Everybody has a bike. (8a) All of the child’s friends have bikes. (8b) Many/most of the child’s classmates have bikes. (8c) The mother should consider buying her son a bike. (8d) Cycling is a popular form of exercise among children. 30

31 (9) Child: Can I go to see Avatar? Mother: You are too small. (9a) The child is too small to see the film Avatar in the cinema. (9b) The child can’t go to see the film. 31

32 (9) Child: Can I go to see Avatar? Mother: You are too small. (9a) The child is too small to see the film Avatar in the cinema. (9b) The child can’t go to see the film. 32

33  post-Gricean contextualism (meaning intentions) vs. relativism: x Truth, meaning, knowledge are to be analysed from the position form which they are assessed. MacFarlane (2005, forthcoming) 33

34 Interlocutors frequently communicate their main intended content through a proposition which is not syntactically restricted. Experimental evidence: Nicolle and Clark 1999 Pitts 2005 Sysoeva and Jaszczolt 2007 Sysoeva

35

36 Merger Representation  Speaker’s meaning is modelled as the so-called merger representation. The outputs of sources of information about meaning are treated on an equal footing. The syntactic constraint is abandoned. Merger representations have the status of mental representations. They have a compositional structure: they are proposition-like constructs, integrating information coming from various sources that interacts according to the principles established by the intentional character of discourse. 36

37 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) 37

38 SC (10) A Botticelli was stolen from the Uffizi last week. (10a) A painting by Botticelli was stolen from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence last week. 38

39 IS (11) The author of Wolf Hall is coming to Cambridge. (11’) Hilary Mantel is coming to Cambridge. 39

40 The model of sources of information can be mapped onto types of processes that produce the merger representation  of the primary meaning and the additional (secondary) meanings. 40

41

42 Methodological globalism: default and inferential enrichment is proposition-based Processing defaults  system-based, ‘local’ defaults: X (12) bread knife+> knife used for cutting bread X (13) a secretary+> female one X (14) a road+> hard-surfaced one (adapted from Levinson 2000: 37-38) 42

43 Mapping between sources and processes WK  SCWD or CPI SC  SCWD or CPI WS  WS (logical form) SD  CPI IS  CD In building merger representations DS makes use of the processing model and it indexes the components of  with a subscript standing for the type of processing. 43

44 Cf. Evans &Levinson’s universal principles (2009: 429): ‘…stable engineering solutions, satisfying multiple design constraints, reflecting both cultural-historical factors and the constraints of human cognition’  in DS: social, cultural and world-knowledge defaults (SCWD); conscious pragmatic inference (CPI, grounded in SC and WK); cognitive defaults (CD, grounded in the properties of human inferential system (IS), intentionality) 44

45 Compositionality of Primary Meanings Schiffer (e. g. 1991, 1994, 2003): composition of meaning reflects compositional reality. Meaning supervenes on the structure of the world. Recanati (2004): compositionality belongs to modulated propositions. ‘Interactionist’, ‘Gestaltist’ compositionality. DS: compositionality of utterance meaning rather than sentence meaning. 45

46 Compositionality should be an empirical assumption about the nature of possible human languages. Szabó (2000) 46

47 compositionality on the level of referential properties (for anything that counts as language of thought, KJ) Fodor (2008) 47

48 Selected applications of DS definite descriptions, proper names, and belief reports (Jaszczolt 1992, 1997, 1999); negation and discourse connectives (Lee 2002); presupposition, sentential connectives, number terms, temporality, and modality (Jaszczolt 2005; 2009; Srioutai 2004, 2006; Jaszczolt and Srioutai forthcoming; Engemann 2008); syntactic constraint on primary meaning (Sysoeva and Jaszczolt 2007) 48

49 Languages: English, Korean, Thai, Russian, French, German, Italian 49

50 Definite NPs in English (11) The author of Wolf Hall is coming to Cambridge. (11a) The author of Wolf Hall (whoever he or she is) is coming to Cambridge. (11b)Hilary Mantel is coming to Cambridge. (11c)Michael Morpurgo is coming to Cambridge. 50

51  Fig. 3: Partial merger representation for the default referential reading of example (11)

52  Fig. 4: Partial merger representation for the referential mistake reading of example (11)

53  Fig. 5: Partial merger representation for the attributive reading of example (11)

54 Belief reports and compositionality (15)Tom believes that the author of Wolf Hall is coming to Cambridge. 54

55 Asher (1986: 129): discourse referents are ‘pegs’ on which the hearer can ‘hang’ the ascriptions of properties that the DRS-conditions specify. [Hilary Mantel] CD (x) default de re [Michael Morpurgo] CPI1 (x) de dicto with a referential mistake [the author of Wolf Hall] CPI1 (x) de dicto proper 55

56 ‘x believes that  ’. ’ Bel (x,  ’ ) The individual that corresponds to x on a certain interpretation has the cognitive state that corresponds to  ’ on that interpretation. 56

57

58

59

60

61

62 (1)Tom finished the chapter and closed the book. 62

63

64 Swahili: consecutive tense marker ka (4) a.…wa-Ingereza wa-li-wa-chukuawa-lemaiti, 3Pl-British 3Pl-Past-3Pl-take3Pl-Demcorpses ‘…then the British took the corpses, b.wa-ka-wa-tiakatika baomoja… 3Pl-Cons-3Pl-put.ononboardone put them on a flat board…’ adapted from Givón (2005: 154) 64

65

66 No ‘or’ in Wari’? (5)’am ’e’ ca ’am mi’ pin ca perhapslive3SG.M.perhapsgivecomplete 3SG.M. ‘Either he will live or he will die.’ from Mauri and van der Auwera (fortc.: 12) 66

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68 Summary A contextualist theory that adopts pragmatic compositionality allows for representing the linguistic diversity of means of conveying information (lexicon/grammar/pragmatics trade- off) by allocating it to contributing sources and processes. An adequate representation of this diversity requires that all contributing sources and processes are treated on an equal footing. Proposal: universal sources and processes identified in DS and their cross-linguistic applicability. 68

69 References Asher, N ‘Belief in Discourse Representation Theory’. Journal of Philosophical Logic Asher, N. and A. Lascarides Logics of Conversation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Blome-Tillmann, M Conversational implicature and the cancellability test. Analysis 68, Carston, R Implicature, explicature, and truth-theoretic semantics. In: R. M. Kempson (ed.) Mental Representations: The Interface between Language and Reality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Carston, R Postscript (1995) to Carston In: A. Kasher (ed.). Pragmatics: Critical Concepts. Vol. 4. London: Routledge, Carston, R Thoughts and Utterances: The Pragmatics of Explicit Communication. Oxford: Blackwell. Carston, R How many pragmatic systems are there?’. In: M. J. Frápolli (ed.). Saying, Meaning and Referring: Essays on François Recanati’s Philosophy of Language. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, Engemann, H ‘The concept of futurity: A study with reference to English, French and German’. M.Phil. thesis, University of Cambridge. Evans, N. and S.C. Levinson ‘The myth of language universals: Language diversity and its importance for cognitive science’. Behavioral and Brain Sciences

70 Fodor, J. A LOT 2: The Language of Thought Revisited. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Givón, T Context as other Minds: The Pragmatics of Sociality, Cognition and Communication. Amsterdam: J. Benjamins. Grice, H. P ‘Further notes on logic and conversation’. In: P. Cole (ed.). Syntax and Semantics. Vol. 9. New York: Academic Press. Reprinted in Grice 1989, Grice, H. P Studies in the Way of Words. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Grice, P Aspects of Reason. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Groenendijk, J. and M. Stokhof ‘Dynamic Predicate Logic’. Linguistics and Philosophy Jaszczolt, K. M Belief Sentences and the Semantics of Propositional Attitudes. D.Phil. thesis. University of Oxford. Jaszczolt, K. M ‘The Default De Re Principle for the interpretation of belief utterances’. Journal of Pragmatics Jaszczolt, K. M Discourse, Beliefs, and Intentions: Semantic Defaults and Propositional Attitude Ascription. Oxford: Elsevier Science. Jaszczolt, K. M Default Semantics: Foundations of a Compositional Theory of Acts of Communication. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jaszczolt, K. M ‘Psychological explanations in Gricean pragmatics and Frege’s legacy’. In: I. Kecskes and J. Mey (eds). Intentions, Common Ground, and the Egocentric Speaker-Hearer. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter Jaszczolt, K. M Representing Time: An Essay on Temporality as Modality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

71 Jaszczolt, K. M ‘Default Semantics’. In: B. Heine and H. Narrog (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press Jaszczolt, K. M. and J. Srioutai. (forthcoming). ‘Communicating about the past through modality in English and Thai’ In: F. Brisard and T. Mortelmans (eds). Cognitive Approaches to Tense, Aspect and Modality’. Amsterdam: J. Benjamins. Lee, H.-K The Semantics and Pragmatics of Connectives with Reference to English and Korean. PhD dissertation, University of Cambridge. Levinson, S. C Presumptive Meanings: The Theory of Generalized Conversational Implicature. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Nicolle, S. and B. Clark ‘Experimental pragmatics and what is said: A response to Gibbs and Moise’. Cognition MacFarlane, J ‘Making sense of relative truth’. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society MacFarlane, J. forthcoming. ‘Relativism and knowledge attributions’. In: S. Bernecker and D. Pritchard (eds.). Routledge Companion to Epistemology. London: Routledge. Mauri, C. and J. van der Auwera forthcoming. ‘Connectives’. In: K. M. Jaszczolt and K. Allan (eds). The Cambridge Handbook of Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pitts, A ‘Assessing the evidence for intuitions about what is said’. M.Phil. essay, University of Cambridge. Recanati, F ‘The pragmatics of what is said’. Mind and Language 4. Reprinted in: S. Davis (ed.) Pragmatics: A Reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press Recanati, F Literal Meaning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Recanati, F ‘Literalism and contextualism: Some varieties’. In: G. Preyer and G. Peter (eds). Contextualism in Philosophy: Knowledge, Meaning, and Truth. Oxford: Clarendon Press Schiffer, S ‘Does Mentalese have a compositional semantics?’. In: B. Loewer and G. Rey (eds) Meaning in Mind: Fodor and his Critics. Oxford: Blackwell Schiffer, S ‘A paradox of meaning’. Noûs Schiffer, S The Things We Mean. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 71

72 Srioutai, J ‘The Thai c 1 a: A marker of tense or modality?’ In: E. Daskalaki et. al. (eds). Second CamLing Proceedings. University of Cambridge Srioutai, J Time Conceptualization in Thai with Special Reference to d 1 ay 1 II, kh 3 oe:y, k 1 aml 3 ang, y 3 u: I and c 1 a. PhD thesis. University of Cambridge. Sysoeva, A. and K. M. Jaszczolt, ‘Composing utterance meaning: An interface between pragmatics and psychology’. Paper presented at the 10th International Pragmatics Conference, Göteborg, July Sysoeva, A Post-Gricean Pragmatics without the Syntactic Constraint: A Study with Reference to Requests in Russian and British English. PhD thesis, University of Cambridge. Sysoeva, A. and K. M. Jaszczolt, in progress. ‘Primary meaning without the syntactic constraint’. Szabò, Z. G ‘Compositionality as supervenience’. Linguistics and Philosophy von Fintel, K. and L. Matthewson ‘Universals in semantics’. The Linguistic Review


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