# Logic and Conversation: Fall 2015

• Amsterdam • Master of Logic, University of Amsterdam

The theme of the course is the interplay between **semantics and pragmatics** in the interpretation of natural language in conversation, and the role of **logic** in formulating semantic and pragmatic theories. Traditionally, logic is concerned with the characterization of valid reasoning and argumentation, and therefore focusses on informative content, defined in terms of truth conditions. When analyzing conversation, however, other notions become of interest as well. In particular, besides informative content, **inquisitive content** also comes to play a crucial role.

The main focus of the course will be on recent work in **inquisitive semantics**, starting with a general introduction and then moving to more advanced topics.

## Prerequisites

Good working knowledge of **first-order logic** is required. Familiarity with type-logical semantics will be convenient for some parts of the course. Ideally, students have already taken **Structures for Semantics**, though this is not strictly necessary.

## Lecture notes

The lecture notes for the first part of the course (including exercises) can be downloaded here.

## Assignments and grading

There will be **five homework assignments**, each of which will make up 20% of the grade. For some of the assignments it may be useful to make use of the latex template available here.

- First assignment, posted 26/10, due 8/11.
- Second assignment, posted 10/11, due 22/11.
- Third assignment, part A, posted 19/11, due 24/11.
- Third assignment, part B, posted 24/11, due 1/12.
- Fourth assignment, posted 3/12, due 13/12.
- Fifth assignment, posted 9/12, due 22/12.

### Schedule

Tuesdays 11.00-13.00 (G0.23), Thursdays 13.00-15.00 (B0.208)

# | Date | Material | Content | Lecturer |
---|---|---|---|---|

Part 1 – General introduction | ||||

1.1 – Basic framework | ||||

1 | 27/10 | LN chapter 1 | Motivation (slides) | Floris |

2 | 29/10 | LN chapter 2 | Basic notions | Floris |

3 | 3/11 | LN chapter 3 | Operations on propositions | Ivano |

4 | 5/11 | LN chapter 4 | First-order inquisitive semantics | Floris |

1.2 – Basic applications | ||||

5 | 10/11 | LN chapter 6 | Declarative and interrogative lists | Floris |

6 | 12/11 | LN chapter 5 | Question semantics | Floris |

7 | 17/11 | LN chapter 7 | Inquisitive epistemic logic | Ivano |

Part 2 – Topics in current research | ||||

2.1 – Conditionals | ||||

8 | 19/11 | Stalnaker 1984 McCawley 1993 |
Counterfactuals with atomic antecedents: the Stalnaker/Lewis account |
Lucas |

9 | 24/11 | handout | Counterfactuals with complex antecedents: causality and inquisitive connectives |
Lucas |

2.2 – Pragmatics | ||||

10 | 26/11 | handout | Pragmatics | Jeroen |

11 | 1/12 | handout InqS paper |
Pragmatics | Jeroen |

12 | 3/12 | handout | Pragmatics | Jeroen |

2.3 – Logic | ||||

13 | 8/12 | dissertation pages 46-65 |
Logic (slides) | Ivano |

14 | 10/12 | dissertation chapter 3 |
Logic | Ivano |