Semantics and Philosophy in Europe – SPE10

17-19 December 2018

The purpose of the Semantics and Philosophy in Europe (SPE) colloquia is to provide a forum for presenting research in the interface between linguistic semantics and various areas of philosophy (philosophy of language, philosophy of mind/cognition, metaphysics etc.). Previous colloquia have taken place in Paris (SPE1, 2008 and SPE3, 2010), London (SPE2, 2009), Bochum (SPE4, 2011), Turin (SPE5, 2012), St.Peterburg (SPE6 2013) Berlin (SPE7, 2014), Cambridge (SPE8, 2016) and Padua (SPE9, 2017). This year’s Semantics and Philosophy in Europe Colloquium features a general session with four invited speakers as well as two special sessions:

* The Syntax, Semantics and Philosophy of Speech Acts
* Semantics in other minds
For the general session, we invite any contributions on topics at the interface of linguistics an philosophy, including but not limited to work on truth and meaning, the architecture of language, reference, attitude reports, the formal ontology of language, the relation between syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, semantics and the brain, and semantics of other symbolic systems.

SPECIAL SESSION 1: The Syntax, Semantics and Philosophy of Speech Acts
Convener: Friederike Moltmann

In recent years there has been an increased awareness of the conceptual and empirical limitations of the standard, abstract proposition-based view of meaning (Montague Grammar). This has given way to an increased interest in linguistic expressions and constructions that relate to speech acts, resulting in new work in formal syntax and semantics (and pragmatics), and philosophy of language, such as the theory of commitment spaces (Krifka), act-based conceptions of propositional content (Hanks, Soames), the theory of attitudinal objects (Moltmann), and the syntax of perlocutionary aspects of speech acts integrating the role of the addressee (Marcu, Wiltschko). Contributions to this special session may relate to the following topics:
– speech act indicators and their formal semantics
– the semantics of speech act verbs, verbs of saying, and propositional attitude verbs
– act-based and cognitive conceptions of propositional content
– the action-product distinction of Twardowski
– the formal syntax of speech acts (locutionary, illocutionary, and perlocutionary acts)
– the semantics of questions and imperatives
– the semantics of mood

SPECIAL SESSION 2: Semantics in other minds
Convener: Wolfram Hinzen

Language is not uniform among humans: there is systematic genetic variation in our species giving rise to different cognitive and linguistic phenotypes, across which the structure of meaning need not remain the same. While abnormal forms of cognition have long informed discussions in phenomenology and the philosophy of mind and cognition, a linguistic perspective can inform such debates as well, as it already has done in psychiatry and developmental disorders. This special session wants to give a first forum for work on language patterns and their semantics in a range of different disorders, from developmental ones (Williams syndrome, autism spectrum conditions) to psychiatric (schizophrenia) and neurodegenerative ones. The overall research question is in what way the disintegrating or simply different mind is always linguistically different as well, and how this shows in semantics specifically.

For further information on the two special sessions here

 

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