The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Linguistics Colloquium 2/18 - Gerhard Jäger

Speaker: Gerhard Jäger, Universität Tübingen
Time: Friday, February 18, 2011, 3:30pm-5pm
Location: 32-141 (PLEASE NOTE ROOM)
Title: Game Theoretic Pragmatics


Game theory is a mathematical framework that is being used in economics and biology, but also in philosophy, political science and computer science, to study the behavior of multiple agents that are engaged in strategic interaction. It has manifold applications in linguistics as well. In particular, it has been utilized to investigate stability conditions of linguistic features in a large speech community, and to explore the strategic aspects of single speech acts.

The talk gives an introduction into a particular incarnation of this research paradigm, the /Iterated Best Response model/ of game-theoretic pragmatics. It can be seen as a formalization of the neo-Gricean program of pragmatics. Empirical issues touched upon include exhaustivication, free choice readings, ignorance implicatures, embedded implicatures and the pragmatics of measure terms.