Workshop “Scalar Implicatures: Formal and Experimental Exploration”

Salvatore Pistoia-Reda (ZAS Berlin, U Siena), Uli Sauerland (ZAS Berlin), Filippo Domaneschi (U Genoa for, Valentina Bianchi (U Siena)

Time and venue:
11-13 July 2018, Aula Magna Storica del Rettorato, via dei Banchi di Sotto 55, Siena, (Link to map!)

Please register via e-mail to Salvatore Pistoia-Reda indicating whether you plan to attend the dinner.

Invited speakers:
Lyn Frazier (U Mass Amherst), Irene Heim (MIT), Napoleon Katsos (U Cambridge), Paul Marty (ZAS Berlin), Benjamin Spector (IJN Paris)

This workshop focuses on recent developments in the theory of scalar implicatures with the intention to raise new issues suitable for formal and experimental exploration. The general discussion in the recent linguistic and philosophical literature has debated on the very nature of scalar implicatures, i.e. on whether scalar implicatures are computed as part of a conversational strategy to maximize informativity or rather as entailments from the semantic content of scalar sentences. Specific research questions have included the status of free choice inferences, the interaction between scalar implicatures and other phenomena, e.g. presuppositions, the relationship between scalar implicatures computation and the exhaustive interpretation of questions, and the interaction between the scalar implicatures mechanism and contextual knowledge. A special session of the workshop will be devoted to the discussion of the supposed contextual blindness of scalar implicatures, with special emphasis on recent developments in complex environments, e.g. conjunctions, and on different proposals concerning the definition of the ordering relation among alternatives.
The workshop also serves the function of deepening the links between and an Italian network with similar goals (
We seek contributions that tackle any topics discussed in the recent literature on scalar implicatures and related phenomena, and that strive to expand existing accounts with formal proposals and with new methods of experimentation. We particular encourage submissions concerning the conceptual blindness assumption and scalar implicatures and presuppositions in L1 and L2 acquisition, with the aim of organizing separate thematic sessions.