Category: Faculty, General

Math Ling Seminar 12/03 – Ed Keenan

Published: December 3, 2012

Ed Keenan will give us a special Math Seminar next Monday, December 3rd at 4pm in Bunche 2150. His talk is entitled: Individuals Explained Away.  All are welcome!

Speaker: Ed Keenan
Date/Time: Monday, December 3rd, 4-6pm
Location: Bunche 2150
Title: Individuals Explained Away
Contact: Ed Stabler


We motivate linguistically an extensional type theory for natural language which replaces the unstructured universe of entities in which singular terms denote with a booleanly structured set of properties in which common nouns denote.  Objects denotable by singular terms, individuals, are defined booleanly in terms of properties and truth values.  The new ontology does not change any entailment paradigms but offers several novel insights into the logical properties of natural language, and generalizes elegantly to intensional adjectives which do instantiate new entailment patterns.  We invoke no semantic novelties such as “possible worlds” or structured meanings.
Organization:  Section 1 reviews and streamlines the standard extensional types for the English expressions we consider.  (By types we intend the sets in which expressions of a given category denote).  In 2 we generalize our types to intensional ones, illustrated with evaluative adjectives like skillful.