Semantics Research Group Meeting, September 7, 2012

[Japanese | English]

4:30pm, September 7, 2012
Keio University, Mita Campus,
South Annex, 7th floor
Eric McCready (Aoyama Gakuin University)
Understanding and Being Understood
This talk is concerned with how speakers can properly understand each other. Every utterance of every discourse has, potentially, multiple possible interpretations, from which interpreters must select. Conversely, conversational agents who are producing sentences in the current turn must select a sentence form a huge number of possible such forms. The main thesis is that the process of selecting and interpreting utterances can be modeled in a game-theoretic fashion, using signaling games together with prior probabilities computed on the basis of reasoning about probable interpretations. As a main empirical test case I will consider expressions with emotive content which is lexically underspecified, and, if time permits, extend the analysis to other kinds of underspecification and ambiguity.

Semantics Research Group

Last modified: 2012-08-24 16:36:09 JST