• Ling-H: Some issues with not-at-issueness (advanced)

    (Masha Esipova, University of Oslo)

    This course will challenge some of the traditionally held beliefs about not-at-issue content in formal semantics and pragmatics and will ultimately call for more explanatory theories for the various aspects of not-at-issueness. We’ll be asking (although not necessarily answering) a range of questions about not-at-issue content. What are the various ways in which people have conceptualized not-at-issueness? What is projection? Or accommodation (global, local, intermediate)? Do presuppositions even exist, as a natural class? What about conventional implicatures? Are expressive meanings or social meanings not-at-issue, or are they a completely distinct type of meaning, such that the at-issue vs. not-at-issue distinction doesn’t apply to them? Etc.

    Background: Some background in formal semantics and pragmatics is required. Familiarity with such notions as "presupposition", "common ground", "projection", "accommodation" is highly desirable. Ability to read semantic formulas (predicate logic + lambda calculus) would be a plus, as we will be discussing, among other things, to what extent different formal theories capture our intuitions about various aspects of not-at-issueness.