Tsinghua University – University of Amsterdam Joint Research Centre for Logic

Dynamics in Language

Time: 31 March 2022, 18:35 – 20:15 (Beijing time)

Dynamic semantics identifies the meaning of a sentence with its potential to influence the state of the conversation (rather than with its truth-conditions). In the tutorial we will discuss linguistic motivations for the dynamic turn, notably, anaphora, presupposition and, if time permits, epistemic modals, and present examples of dynamic systems which can capture these phenomena.  We will conclude with some reflection on what makes a semantics genuinely dynamic and on whether the kinematics of natural language is better captured at the semantic or pragmatic level. 

  1. Jeroen Groenendijk and Martin Stokhof, 1991, Dynamic Predicate Logic. Linguistics and Philosophy 14, pp. 39–100.
  2. Jeroen Groenendijk, Martin Stokhof and Frank Veltman, 1996. Coreference and Modality. In: Shalom Lappin (ed.), The Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory, Blackwell, pp. 179–213.
  3. Irene Heim, 1983, On the Projection Problem for Presuppositions. In: Barlow, M. and D. Flickinger and M. Wescoat (eds.), Proceedings of WCCFL II, Stanford, pp. 114–25.
  4. Frank Veltman, 1996, Defaults in update semantics. Journal of Philosophical Logic 25, pp. 221–261.