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Anthony C. Woodbury, Chair CLA 4.304, Mailcode B5100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-1701

Hans Kamp

Professor PhD, University of California at Los Angeles

Visiting Professor

Contact

Biography

Professor Kamp's work focuses on the question how human beings represent meaning and how those representations enable them to do the various things that they do with information. The founder of Discourse Representation Theory, and a leading figure in logic, linguistics, and the philosophy of language, Professor Kamp has written articles on tense logic, adjectives, vagueness, free choice permission, attitudes, and semantic representation that are considered classics in their areas. He is the author of From Discourse to Logic (Kluwer, with Uwe Reyle) and Thinking and Talking about Things (MIT Press).

Interests

Language and Thought, Philosophy of Language (Propositional Attitudes)

LIN 381S • Semantics II

40150 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 2.122
(also listed as PHL 391 )
show description

The course will focus on a range of central topics in the semantics of natural language. The use of formal methods will be important, but only in response to the linguistic problems as they present themselves to us and as we then come to understand them when looking at them more closely. The general topics to be considered in the class are (subject to modifications in response to participants’ requests): 1. Quantifiers and Quantification; Count Nouns and Mass Nouns; Plural and Singular. 2. Tense and Aspect 3. Presupposition 4. Intensionality, Modality and Propositional Attitudes (5. Information Structure) Each of these areas will presumably take three weeks or more. We may not be able to get to topic 5. Course grades will be assigned on the basis of points (to a maximum of 100) that are to be obtained as follows: i. Four graded home works at max. 10 points each. ii. Midterm exam. Max. 20 points iii. Term paper or final exam. Max. 40 points (Since this is a graduate seminar, writing a term paper is strongly recommended.)

Graduate standing and consent of graduate adviser or instructor required.

LIN 393S • Beyond Assertion

40180 • Spring 2015
Meets W 900am-1200pm CLA 4.710
(also listed as PHL 391 )
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Beyond Assertion

------------------------

David Beaver and Hans Kamp

We will consider approaches to the semantics and pragmatics of non-declarative utterances, in particular questions and imperatives. These issues tie into much current work which has moved away from the centrality of truth-conditions in theories of meaning, and towards a view of meaning which focuses on the effects of utterances more generally, e.g. the effect of making alternatives salient, or of directing action. We will set the background with work by Hamblin, on both questions and imperatives, and Karttunen, and Groenendijk and Stokhof on questions. Then we will turn to more recent work, including work in Inquisitive Semantics by Groenendijk and students, and several recent proposals for imperatives by Portner, Condoravdi and Lauer, and M. Kaufmann. 

CGS 360 • Times And Events

34195 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm GAR 2.112
(also listed as LIN 350, PHL 365 )
show description

Times and Events can be discussed from very different perspectives:

  1. From the perspective of Natural Science: What are time and events like according to natural sciences such as, in particular, physics.

  2. From the perspective of Linguistics and Psychology: How do we think about time and events and how do we talk about them?

This course is sponsored by the Linguistics Department. So the emphasis will be on the ways in which times and events are talked about in the languages we speak.

But we will find that this issue cannot really be discussed if we do not also take into account how we think of time and of events – how we represent them in thought.

However, since we think of time and events as existing independently of us, it is important to also to look at least briefly about what Natural Science has to say about them. And that is what this course will start with. Natural Science-based views of times

and events will occupy us for the first two or three times we meet. After that we will turn to Times and Events in language and thought.

LIN 350 • Times And Events

41470 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm GAR 2.112
(also listed as CGS 360, PHL 365 )
show description

Times and Events can be discussed from very different perspectives:

  1. From the perspective of Natural Science: What are time and events like according to natural sciences such as, in particular, physics.

  2. From the perspective of Linguistics and Psychology: How do we think about time and events and how do we talk about them?

This course is sponsored by the Linguistics Department. So the emphasis will be on the ways in which times and events are talked about in the languages we speak.

But we will find that this issue cannot really be discussed if we do not also take into account how we think of time and of events – how we represent them in thought.

However, since we think of time and events as existing independently of us, it is important to also to look at least briefly about what Natural Science has to say about them. And that is what this course will start with. Natural Science-based views of times

and events will occupy us for the first two or three times we meet. After that we will turn to Times and Events in language and thought.

LIN 381S • Semantics II

41560 • Spring 2014
Meets W 1200pm-300pm WAG 312
(also listed as PHL 391 )
show description

The course will focus on a range of central topics in the semantics of natural language. The use of formal methods will be important, but only in response to the linguistic problems as they present themselves to us and as we then come to understand them when looking at them more closely. The general topics to be considered in the class are (subject to modifications in response to participants’ requests): 1. Quantifiers and Quantification; Count Nouns and Mass Nouns; Plural and Singular. 2. Tense and Aspect 3. Presupposition 4. Intensionality, Modality and Propositional Attitudes (5. Information Structure) Each of these areas will presumably take three weeks or more. We may not be able to get to topic 5. Course grades will be assigned on the basis of points (to a maximum of 100) that are to be obtained as follows: i. Four graded home works at max. 10 points each. ii. Midterm exam. Max. 20 points iii. Term paper or final exam. Max. 40 points (Since this is a graduate seminar, writing a term paper is strongly recommended.)

Graduate standing and consent of graduate adviser or instructor required.

 

CGS 360 • Times And Events

33740 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm GAR 2.112
(also listed as LIN 350, PHL 365 )
show description

This course is about the nature of time, as an essential part of the world in which we live and as it manifests itself in how we think and speak. The emphasis will be on time in language and thought, as this course is targeted in particular at people with an interest in linguistics or Cognitive Science. Philosophical questions about time will play an important part as well.

 

Time has been the topic of philosophical speculation and scientific exploration since antiquity. But its role in language and thought has only become a topic of serious investigation much more recently.  Over the past fifty years our understanding of topic has evolved dramatically, but many issues are still unresolved, and quit a few of them continue to be hotly debated.

 

The course will present a range of issues about time that have preoccupied philosophers, linguists, cognitive scientists and psychologists. It will trace the development of theories about these matters over the course of the past century. And for some of the questions that are still open we will explore our own answers.

 

(Personal note: I have lived through a good part of the recent history of this subject, it has played an important part in my thinking about all sorts of things and my thinking about many things has changed a great deal as time and work on time went on. So time has meant a great deal in my life and I am really excited about the opportunity to share my fascination with this subject with you.)

 

The course will draw on a variety of texts. We will make substantial use of Mani, Pustejovski & Gaizauskas (eds.) ‘The Language of Time’

 

Requirements for getting a grade: (i) an short essay of about 1000 words due after spring break and (ii) an essay of about 3000 words due on finals day.

LIN 350 • Times And Events

40944 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm GAR 2.112
(also listed as CGS 360, PHL 365 )
show description

This course is about the nature of time, as an essential part of the world in which we live and as it manifests itself in how we think and speak. The emphasis will be on time in language and thought, as this course is targeted in particular at people with an interest in linguistics or Cognitive Science. Philosophical questions about time will play an important part as well.

 

Time has been the topic of philosophical speculation and scientific exploration since antiquity. But its role in language and thought has only become a topic of serious investigation much more recently.  Over the past fifty years our understanding of topic has evolved dramatically, but many issues are still unresolved, and quit a few of them continue to be hotly debated.

 

The course will present a range of issues about time that have preoccupied philosophers, linguists, cognitive scientists and psychologists. It will trace the development of theories about these matters over the course of the past century. And for some of the questions that are still open we will explore our own answers.

 

(Personal note: I have lived through a good part of the recent history of this subject, it has played an important part in my thinking about all sorts of things and my thinking about many things has changed a great deal as time and work on time went on. So time has meant a great deal in my life and I am really excited about the opportunity to share my fascination with this subject with you.)

 

The course will draw on a variety of texts. We will make substantial use of Mani, Pustejovski & Gaizauskas (eds.) ‘The Language of Time’

 

Requirements for getting a grade: (i) an short essay of about 1000 words due after spring break and (ii) an essay of about 3000 words due on finals day.

LIN 393S • Definiteness

41063 • Spring 2013
Meets W 1200pm-300pm WAG 312
(also listed as PHL 391 )
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Prerequisites

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required.

Course Description

In modern times the distinction between definite and indefinite noun phrases came to prominence when Russell(1905) proposed that both definite and indefinite descriptions were quantifiers, opposing the Fregean position according to which indefinite descriptions were quantifiers, but definite descriptions were terms. In the middle of the 20-th century Strawson(1950) returned to a position much like Frege’s. Then, around 1980, theories emerged, according to which indefinite descriptions function, like definite descriptions, essentially as terms. This sets the two of them apart from ‘true’ quantifying phrases such as ‘every F’ or ‘most Fs’. With this proposal came a different way of explaining the difference between definite and indefinite phrases: indefinites signal ‘novelty’ and definites ‘familiarity’ (Heim(1982)). Since the eighties much work has been done to flesh out these proposals; this work has reinforced the view that definite descriptions are just one among several categories of definite noun phrases – together with pronouns, demonstratives and proper names. Each of these categories manifests ‘familiarity’ in its own way and the challenge is to articulate exactly what these different ways are.

From a more philosophical perspective a central question about definiteness is what it is that enables us to refer in thought and language to particular things. (A classic treatment is Evans(1982).) Because of these ramifications questions about definiteness are closely connected with fundamental issues about the nature of meaning, reference, predication and truth and about the form and limits of semantic theory.

The seminar will focus primarily on recent work on definiteness, including some unpublished work of the instructors.

Grading:

Grades will be based on one short paper, one longer paper, and in-class presentations.

Texts:

Individual articles will be made available as needed.

LIN 381S • Semantics II

40870 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm MEZ 1.104
(also listed as PHL 391 )
show description

TBA

 

 

LIN 381S • Semantics II

41200 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm UTC 1.142
show description

The course will focus on a range of central topics in the semantics of natural language. The use of formal methods will be important, but only in response to the linguistic problems as they present themselves to us and as we then come to understand them when looking at them more closely. The general topics to be considered in the class are (subject to modifications in response to participants’ requests): 1. Quantifiers and Quantification; Count Nouns and Mass Nouns; Plural and Singular. 2. Tense and Aspect 3. Presupposition 4. Intensionality, Modality and Propositional Attitudes (5. Information Structure) Each of these areas will presumably take three weeks or more. We may not be able to get to topic 5. Course grades will be assigned on the basis of points (to a maximum of 100) that are to be obtained as follows: i. Four graded home works at max. 10 points each. ii. Midterm exam. Max. 20 points iii. Term paper or final exam. Max. 40 points (Since this is a graduate seminar, writing a term paper is strongly recommended.)

LIN 383 • Representatn In Lang & Thought

41215 • Spring 2011
Meets M 330pm-630pm WAG 312
(also listed as PHL 380 )
show description

Prerequisites

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required.

 

When I asked people in the spring of 2010 what they thought might be a useful thing for me to teach the following spring, one suggestion was that I should offer a course on Discourse Representation Theory. On the one hand that was a suggestion I was glad to take on. But on the other I was reluctant to announce a course under that title, as I was afraid people would think that the course would be an exercise in natural language semantics, more suited to a linguistics than to a philosophy department.

But one of the motivations that led to DRT in the first place was "squarely philosophical: When people understand something they hear or read, they form a representation of its content. These representations are (of course) systematically related to the linguistic input that leads to them, but they have their own structural properties. The analysis that DRT offers of semantic processing suggests what some of these properties are. Assumptions about what these properties are - and thus assumptions about the structure of mental representations of content - have been amplified over the years and led to a separate component of DRT.

The current picture of mental representation that has emerged this way has implications for a range of notions and problems that fit squarely within the current philosophical agenda: reference, content and meaning; reasoning and planning; the interaction between language and other cognitive capacities; the nature of verbal communication; and, last but not least, the semantics of attitude reports.

The implications for reference in thought and language and the role of `referential terms' (definite and indefinite noun phrases) in attitude reports bear on many familiar philosophical puzzles, from Frege's Hesperus-Phosphorus to Mark Richard's phone booth. Because of this there will be a certain overlap on the one hand with the seminar on reference I offered two years ago, and also with the `Seven Puzzles' seminar that is presented this semester by Mark Sainsbury and Michael Tye. The overlap with the reference seminar is only partial. And I very much hope that the overlap with the `Seven Puzzles' seminar may produce some fruitful dialogue.

N.B. Much work in DRT has to do with the details of DRS construction (i.e. of mapping syntactic structures of natural language expressions onto semantic representations). But that will NOT be the emphasis of this course. (However, some aspects of DRS construction will be important to what the seminar is about, however, and these will be discussed.)

 

Satisfaction Requirements:

Those enrolled for a grade will have to produce:

i.             A short paper (about 2000 words) by week 8.

ii.            A longer final paper (about 4000 words) by week 15.

A description of the material that will be covered in the course and preliminary breakdown into sessions can be found on the course webpage.

LIN 381S • Semantics II

41225 • Spring 2010
Meets TH 330pm-630pm UTC 1.142
show description

For detailed Course Schedule, download attachment.

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