Logic and Engineering of Natural Language Semantics 9 (LENLS 9)
Aim and Topics
LENLS is an annual international workshop on formal syntax, semantics and pragmatics, focusing on the following topics. It will be held as one of the workshops of the forth JSAI International Symposia on AI (isAI2012) sponsored by the Japan Society for Artificial Intelligence (JSAI).
The proceedings of the workshop will be available at the
conference site for registered persons. Please follow the link
below and register yourself until 24th November 2012.
November 30th (Fri), 201209:00-10:00 Reception and Coffee Break
10:00-10:10 Opening Remarks
10:10-11:40 Session 1
13:30-15:00 Session 2
15:30-17:00 Session 3
17:30-18:30 Invited Talk 1
December 01st (Sat), 201209:30-10:30 Reception and Coffee break
10:30-11:30 Session 4
13:30-15:00 Session 5
15:30-17:00 Session 6
17:30-18:30 Invited Talk 2
On December 2nd (Sun), there will also be a tutorial lecture at the workshop venue.
LecturerHans Kamp (University of Stuttgart)
VenueAmusement Zone Miyazaki (The JA-AZM Hall) (Kirishima 1-1-1, Miyazaki, Japan)
TitleReferring in Verbal Communication: The role and function of names and other noun phrases as referential devices
The point of saying something is (normally) to communicate a message to someone else. So we try to choose our words in such a way that those we address will be able to decode the message we want them to get. Part of this is that the words we choose must enable our addressees to determine who or what we are talking about. Languages have a repertoire of expressions that serve this `referring' function, most prominently nominal phrases. For instance, English has names, definite descriptions, pronouns and demonstratives. This means that when an English speaker wants to refer to someone or something, she has a choice between phrases of these different kinds. And her choice will be guided by which phrase will enable her addressees to identify the referent she intends.
But the different types of referring phrases come with different `decoding rules', which the recipient must apply in order to identify the referent. But whether an addressee will succeed in identifying the referent when he applies these rules, will usually depend on what information he already has and that he can apply the rules to. Therefore, when choosing a phrase to refer to a given person or thing, a speaker will be guided by what she assumes is already known to her audience.
A proper understanding of how different referring phrases function can only be gained by paying close attention to the communication-theoretic aspects of referring: We must study the interpretation and production of referring phrases in tandem, as part of a formally precise general theory of verbal communication which describes how thoughts are verbally encoded by the speaker and then decoded by the recipients of her utterance. I will outline such a general framework for the study of verbal communication, and we will use that framework to look into the conditions for successful use of different types of referring phrases, focussing in particular on proper names.
A crucial component of the general framework is the representation of complex mental states, composed out of propositional attitudes and entity representations. It is parts of such states that speakers convert into words when they produce an utterance and it is also parts of such states that help interpreters to turn those utterances back into mental representations (which they then incorporate into their mental states). The basis for this component is Discourse Representation Theory (DRT), and, more specifically, the DRT-based theory of propositional attitudes sketched in the last part of (Kamp, Van Genabith and Reyle, 2011).H. Kamp, J. Van Genabith and U. Reyle, `An Updated Survey of DRT'. In: D. Gabbay (ed.) Handbook of Philosophical Logic, Volume 15, 125-394, Elsevier, 2011