The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Valentine Hacquard’s mini-course 9/28-9/29

Title: The semantics and pragmatics of attitude reports: the view from acquisition
Date/time: Wednesday, 09/28 and Thursday, 09/29, 5:00-6:30pm
Venue: 32-D461

What semantic categories are there in natural language? Do they define a space of ‘natural’ meanings within those that are merely ‘conceivable’? How do children figure out what these semantic categories are? How well are they tracked by syntactic categories and can the child exploit systematic links between these syntactic and semantic categories? This course investigates the semantics and pragmatics of attitude reports by focusing on the interplay between syntax, semantics and pragmatics, from the perspective of the formal semanticist and of the child learner. We will focus on attitudes of belief vs. desire on Day 1, and on factivity on Day 2.