SS24: Pragmatic computation in real-time sentence processing

Course description

Research on human sentence processing shows us that humans comprehend language incrementally, before the end of a sentence. But research in theoretical semantics and pragmatics has argued that language comprehension is extraordinarily complex, going far beyond the literal entailments of a sentence. How do humans build towards such a rich meaning incrementally?

In this seminar, we will set about to answer this question for different linguistic phenomena, reviewing the kinds of rich meanings that our theories expect, and reading the experimental literatures that have used methodologies like eye-tracking and EEG to investigate how this may come about in real time cognition.

The phenomena we will cover will include at least:

  • Gricean implicatures, e.g. seeing “I read some of the papers.” and inferring “It is not the case that the speaker read all of the papers.”
  • Discourse coherence inferences, e.g. seeing “I love springtime. The birds have such beautiful songs.” and inferring “The speaker loves springtime because the birds have such beautiful songs.”
  • Presupposition licensing and accommodation, e.g. seeing “There was a delay and I missed my train connection again.” and dealing with the extra meaning “The speaker has missed their train connection before.”
taught by:John (Jack) Duff
start date: 23.04.2024
time: Tuesday, 10:15 - 11:45
classroom:Building C7 2 - Seminar room -1.05
credits:4 CP (R), 7 CP (R+H)
suited for:M.Sc. in Language Science and Technology
B.Sc. in Computational Linguistics
more details:in LSF
notice:Registration deadline for the examination is 19.07.2024