Karen Lewis, Columbia University, "Embedded dynamics: evidence for dynamic semantics?"
Fri, May 2, 2014 • 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM • David L. Miller Conference Room, WAG 316
Abstract: By “embedded dynamics” I mean linguistic expressions whose characteristic effects on the context interact in some (more or less systematic) way with the expressions under which they are embedded, e.g. conjunction, conditional, negation, quantifiers, and modals. In this talk, I will address some arguments to the effect that embedded dynamics constitute good evidence for dynamic semantics, focusing specifically on the case of the anaphoric licensing powers of indefinite descriptions. I will argue that these arguments do not succeed, and that ultimately a pragmatic explanation is just as well-suited to the data as (if not more so than) a semantic one. I will end with some more general reflections on the dynamic semantic project.