The course provides an in-depth introduction in inquisitive semantics, logic, and pragmatics, and engages students in current research questions. Inquisitive semantics offers a new logical-semantical model for the interpretation of natural language. The proposition expressed by a sentence is viewed as a proposal to update the common ground of a conversation. Crucially, a speaker may propose several alternative ways of updating the common ground, from which the hearer is invited to choose. The new semantic framework gives rise to new directions for the study of pragmatics, and also leads to new logical research questions.
In the first part of the course we discuss the logical and philosophical foundations of inquisitive semantics, and will illustrate its applications in several empirical linguistic domains. The last part of the course is intended to have the nature of a research colloquium. Students will choose a small research project on logical, philosophical or linguistic aspects of inquisitive semantics, write a small research report, and present their findings to the other students.