Workshop on “Formal and Experimental Pragmatics” at ESSLLI 2014

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The Formal and Experimental Pragmatics Workshop was part of ESSLLI 2014.

Organizers: Noah D. Goodman (Stanford), Michael Franke (UvA), Judith Degen (Stanford)

Time: August 11 – 15 2014

Venue: Universität Tübingen

Formal pragmatics has recently experienced a new period of maturation, facilitated by two important factors: a) the novel application of mathematical modeling techniques, and b) access to rich experimental data. The recently emerging field of Experimental Pragmatics has painted a complex picture of the interaction between semantic and pragmatic information in phenomena as diverse as implicature, referentiality, figurative meaning, prosody, and presupposition. In parallel, advances in probabilistic and game-theoretic models that treat pragmatic inference as a problem of reasoning under uncertainty have yielded testable quantitative predictions about the outcome of many different kinds of pragmatic inference. Despite this progress, a great deal of work is needed on the mathematical foundations and quantitative empirical grounding of pragmatics, and, most critically, the connection between the two. The aim of this workshop is to promote dialog and community for these lines of research: strengthening the search for an empirically grounded formal pragmatics.

Given this goal, the workshop aims to provide a forum for advanced PhD students and researchers to present and discuss their work with colleagues and researchers who work in the broad subject areas represented at ESSLLI.

Proceedings are available here.
An article from the Proceedings may be cited as follows:
AUTHOR(S) (2014). TITLE. In J. Degen, M. Franke, and N. Goodman (Eds.), Proceedings of the Formal & Experimental Pragmatics Workshop, pp. X-Y, Tübingen.

Invited speakers

Judith Degen (Stanford)
Bart Geurts (Nijmegen)
Roger Levy (UCSD)



17:00 – 17:30 Introduction by the organizers (slides)
17:30 – 18:30 Roger Levy, The Bayesian pragmatics of “and” and “or” (invited speaker) (slides)


17:00 – 17:30 Nicole Gotzner & Katharina Spalek, Exhaustive inferences and additive presuppositions: Interaction of focus operators and contrastive intonation (slides)
17:30 – 18:00 Eva Poortman, Between intersective and ‘split’ interpretations of predicate conjunction: The role of typicality
18:00 – 18:30 Yaron McNabb & Doris Penka, The processing cost of interpreting superlative modifiers and modals


17:00 – 18:00 Judith Degen, Context in Pragmatic Inference (invited speaker) (slides)
18:00 – 18:30 Napolean Katsos & Elspeth Wilson, Convergence and divergence in word learning and pragmatic inferencing


17:00 – 17:30 Sven Lauer, Mandatory implicatures in Gricean pragmatics
17:30 – 18:00 John Michael Tomlinson & Camilo Rodriguez-Ronderos, The production of partial answers and ad-hoc inferences: evidence from spontaneous speech
18:00 – 18:30 Anton Benz & Nicole Gotzner, Embedded implicatures revisited: Issues with the Truth-Value Judgment Paradigm


17:00 – 18:00 Bart Geurts, Cooperativity (invited speaker) (slides)
18:00 – 18:30 Concluding discussion led by the organizers

Alternate speakers
Gerhard Schaden, Markedness, frequency and lexical change in unstable environments
Matthijs Westera, Exhaustivity is not a Quantity implicature – now what?

Program committee
Anton Benz (Berlin), Oliver Bott (Tübingen), Sarah Brown-Schmidt (UIUC), Judith Degen (Stanford), Noah Goodman (Stanford), Mike Frank (Stanford), Michael Franke (Amsterdam), Bart Geurts (Nijmegen), Dan Grodner (Swarthmore), Daphna Heller (Toronto), Gerhard Jäger (Tübingen), Dan Lassiter (Stanford), Roger Levy (UCSD), Chris Potts (Stanford), Jacopo Romoli (Ulster), Uli Sauerland (Berlin), Kristen Syrett (Rutgers), Bob van Tiel (Nijmegen)