Logic and Language

Gillian Ramchand (Tromsø): Non-finite Verbal Forms and Natural Language Ontology

Speaker: Gillian Ramchand (Tromsø)
Title: Non-finite Verbal Forms and Natural Language Ontology
Time: 16:00 - 17:30
Location: ILLC Seminar Room F1.15 and online

The talk will take place in a hybrid format, in the ILLC seminar room F1.15 and online at https://uva-live.zoom.us/j/84656182556.



In this talk, I will argue that the ontological categories that we require for understanding meaning and meaning composition in natural language cannot be exclusively proxied by  external objects in the world or judgements of truth. In other words, a set of metaphysically justified ontological objects is  not what is required for natural language ontology, and  the latter field should be considered a distinct philosophical and analytical exercise. My central empirical ground for the talk will be the meaning of `nonfinite’ verb forms in English. Paradoxes relating to the English progressive and passive constructions will be examined to show that lexical conceptual content needs to be defined more essentially, and that the integration of such essentialist content into forms which ultimately have extensionalist import requires the reification of the symbol qua symbol and the explicit representation of the utterance situation.