Inquisitive semantics: Summer 2015

Barcelona European Summer School for Logic, Language, and Information (ESSLLI)

Inquisitive semantics is a relatively new logical framework for natural language semantics. It enriches the standard framework in that its notion of meaning encompasses both informative and inquisitive content. The aim of the course is to familiarize students and researchers with the framework, and to engage them in the further development of its logical-theoretical foundations, and its linguistic applications. This is the perfect time for such engagement, since the fundamental building blocks of the framework are in place, the central research questions are clear, and the wide applicability of the framework can be illustrated with several concrete case studies. At the same time, many open questions remain and there is much room and demand for contributions from students and researchers in logic, linguistics, philosophy, and computer science.

Lecture notes

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

Course outline

Day Chapters Content Lecturer
1 1-2 Motivation and basic notions Floris Roelofsen
2 3-4 Inquisitive first-order logic Ivano Ciardelli
3 5 Question semantics Jeroen Groenendijk
4 6 Disjunction and intonation Floris Roelofsen
5 7 Inquisitive epistemic logic Ivano Ciardelli


Familiarity with propositional and first-order logic will be presupposed. Familiarity with formal semantic analysis of natural language will be convenient but not strictly necessary. The ideal preparation would be to study the chapters on propositional and first-order logic, type theory, and Montague grammar in the textbook Logic, Language, and Meaning by Gamut (1991).