University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Logic Group Colloquium: Peter Kelcha (UConn linguistics)

Friday, December 4, 2015
2:00pm – 3:30pm

Storrs Campus
LH 302

Come hear a talk in the Logic Colloquium by Peter Klecha:

Title: On Unidirectionality in Precisification

Abstract: This talk provides a formal pragmatic analysis of (im)precision which accounts for its essential properties, but also for Lewis’s (1979) observation of asymmetry in how standards of precision may shift in a given discourse: Only up, not down. I propose that shifts of the kind observed and discussed by Lewis are in fact cases of underlying disagreement about the standard of precision, which is only revealed when one interlocutor uses an expression which signals their adherence to a higher standard than the one adhered to be the other interlocutor(s). I show that a modest formal pragmatic analysis along the lines of game-theoretic approaches by Franke (2009), Jaeger (2012) and others can easily capture the natural asymmetry in standard-signaling that gives rise to Lewis’s observation, so long as such an account is enriched with a notion of relevance. If there's time, I'll also discuss how this approach can be helpful for understanding a longstanding puzzle in the semantics of counterfactuals, namely the issue of Sobel Sequences and their reversals.

All welcome!


Marcus Rossberg,

UConn Logic Group Colloquium (primary), Linguistics Department, Philosophy Department, UConn Master Calendar

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