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Wrong about Meaning Kasia Jaszczolt Newnham College and Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics Wrong about Meaning Kasia Jaszczolt Newnham College and Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics http: //people. pwf. cam. ac. uk/kmj 21 1

M. C. Escher, Still Life and Street, 1937 2 M. C. Escher, Still Life and Street, 1937 2

Linguistics Philosophy X Linguistic philosophy Philosophy of language 3 Linguistics Philosophy X Linguistic philosophy Philosophy of language 3

Two concepts, one object: ‘Snowdon’, ‘Yr Wyddfa’ – the highest mountain in Wales. Two Two concepts, one object: ‘Snowdon’, ‘Yr Wyddfa’ – the highest mountain in Wales. Two objects, one concept: ‘elm’ – elm, beech 4

Antoni Gaudí’s ‘Sagrada Família’ ‘The architect of this church must have been mad. ’ Antoni Gaudí’s ‘Sagrada Família’ ‘The architect of this church must have been mad. ’ 5

Antoni Gaudí’s ‘Sagrada Família’ ‘The architect of this church must have been mad. ’ Antoni Gaudí’s ‘Sagrada Família’ ‘The architect of this church must have been mad. ’ 6

Ambiguity and vagueness Every bottle is empty. 7 Ambiguity and vagueness Every bottle is empty. 7

Ambiguity and vagueness Every bottle is empty. Every bottle at the party is empty. Ambiguity and vagueness Every bottle is empty. Every bottle at the party is empty. 8

Ambiguity and vagueness Every bottle is empty. Every bottle at the party is empty. Ambiguity and vagueness Every bottle is empty. Every bottle at the party is empty. The temperature fell below zero and the lake froze. 9

Ambiguity and vagueness Every bottle is empty. Every bottle at the party is empty. Ambiguity and vagueness Every bottle is empty. Every bottle at the party is empty. The temperature fell below zero and the lake froze. The temperature fell below zero and as a result the lake froze. 10

Ambiguity and vagueness Every bottle is empty. Every bottle at the party is empty. Ambiguity and vagueness Every bottle is empty. Every bottle at the party is empty. The temperature fell below zero and the lake froze. The temperature fell below zero and as a result the lake froze. Some dogs have fleas. 11

Ambiguity and vagueness Every bottle is empty. Every bottle at the party is empty. Ambiguity and vagueness Every bottle is empty. Every bottle at the party is empty. The temperature fell below zero and the lake froze. The temperature fell below zero and as a result the lake froze. Some dogs have fleas. Some but not all dogs have fleas. 12

Which meaning? Child to mother: Everybody has a bike. All of the child’s friends Which meaning? Child to mother: Everybody has a bike. All of the child’s friends have bikes. Many/most of the child’s classmates have bikes. The mother should buy her son a bike. Cycling is a popular form of exercise among children. 13

Which meaning? Child to mother: Everybody has a bike. All of the child’s friends Which meaning? Child to mother: Everybody has a bike. All of the child’s friends have bikes. Many/most of the child’s classmates have bikes. The mother should buy her son a bike. Cycling is a popular form of exercise among children. 14

Where does meaning come from? Two examples: Ø Speaking about time Ø Speaking about Where does meaning come from? Two examples: Ø Speaking about time Ø Speaking about oneself 15

Example 1 Speaking about time Example 1 Speaking about time

 What is expressed by using words in one language may be expressed by What is expressed by using words in one language may be expressed by grammar in another. 17

 What is expressed by using words in one language may be expressed by What is expressed by using words in one language may be expressed by grammar in another. What is expressed overtly in one language may be left out (and only implied) in another. 18

19 19

Main questions Ø Is the human concept of time a universal concept? Yes Ø Main questions Ø Is the human concept of time a universal concept? Yes Ø Can it be explained in terms of simpler concepts? Yes Ø How do linguistic expressions of time reflect it? Through interaction with other sources of information 20

A-series A-series

B-series B-series

St’àt’imcets (Lillooet Salish), British Columbia only future (kelh) – non-future distinction 23 St’àt’imcets (Lillooet Salish), British Columbia only future (kelh) – non-future distinction 23

Swahili: consecutive tense marker ka a. …wa-Ingereza wa-li-wa-chukua 3 Pl-British 3 Pl-Past-3 Pl-take ‘…then Swahili: consecutive tense marker ka a. …wa-Ingereza wa-li-wa-chukua 3 Pl-British 3 Pl-Past-3 Pl-take ‘…then the British took the corpses, b. wa-ka-wa-tia katika bao 3 Pl-Cons-3 Pl-put. on on board put them on a flat board, wa-le 3 Pl-Dem c. wa-ka-ya-telemesha maji-ni kwa 3 Pl-Cons-3 Pl-lower water-Loc with and lowered them steadily into the water…’ maiti, corpses moja, one utaratibu w-ote… order 3 Pl-all 24

Narration in English: Lidia played a sonata. e 1 The audience applauded. e 2 Narration in English: Lidia played a sonata. e 1 The audience applauded. e 2 25

Time in Thai m 3 ae: r 3 i: I Mary kh 2 ian Time in Thai m 3 ae: r 3 i: I Mary kh 2 ian write n 3 iy 3 ai: novel 26

(a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) (i) Mary wrote a novel. Mary (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) (i) Mary wrote a novel. Mary was writing a novel. Mary started writing a novel but did not finish it. Mary has written a novel. Mary has been writing a novel. Mary writes novels. / Mary is a novelist. Mary is writing a novel. Mary will write a novel. Mary will be writing a novel. from Srioutai (2006: 45) 27

f 3 on rain t 1 ok fall (a) It is raining. (default meaning) f 3 on rain t 1 ok fall (a) It is raining. (default meaning) (b) It was raining. (possible intended meaning) 28

Our commitment to the Past (1) (2) past) Lidia went to a concert yesterday. Our commitment to the Past (1) (2) past) Lidia went to a concert yesterday. (regular This is what happened yesterday. Lidia goes to a concert, meets her school friend and tells her… (past of narration) (3) Lidia would have gone to a concert (then). (epistemic necessity past) (4) Lidia must have gone to a concert (yesterday). (epistemic necessity past) (5) (6) Lidia may have gone to a concert (yesterday). (epistemic possibility past) Lidia might have gone to a concert (yesterday). (epistemic possibility past) 29

Degree of commitment for selected expressions with past-time reference Degree of commitment for selected expressions with past-time reference

Ø K. M. Jaszczolt, 2005, Default Semantics: Foundations of a Compositional Theory of Acts Ø K. M. Jaszczolt, 2005, Default Semantics: Foundations of a Compositional Theory of Acts of Communication, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ø K. M. Jaszczolt, 2010. ‘Default Semantics’. In: B. Heine and H. Narrog (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 215 -246. Ø K. M. Jaszczolt, in progress, Interactive Semantics, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sources of information for (i) (iii) (iv) (v) world knowledge (WK) word meaning and Sources of information for (i) (iii) (iv) (v) world knowledge (WK) word meaning and sentence structure (WS) situation of discourse (SD) properties of the human inferential system (IS) stereotypes and presumptions about society and culture (SC) 32

World knowledge: The temperature fell below zero and the lake froze. The temperature fell World knowledge: The temperature fell below zero and the lake froze. The temperature fell below zero and as a result the lake froze. 33

 sources of information types of processes 35 sources of information types of processes 35

Some meanings automatically ‘click in’, others take time and effort: 37 Some meanings automatically ‘click in’, others take time and effort: 37

A: B: A: B: A: So, is this your first film? No, it’s my A: B: A: B: A: So, is this your first film? No, it’s my twenty second. Any favourites among the twenty two? Working with Leonardo. da Vinci? Di. Caprio. Of course. And is he your favourite Italian director? (Richard Curtiss, Notting Hill, 1999) 38

A: B: A: B: A: So, is this your first film? No, it’s my A: B: A: B: A: So, is this your first film? No, it’s my twenty second. Any favourites among the twenty two? Working with Leonardo. da Vinci? Di. Caprio. Of course. And is he your favourite Italian director? (Richard Curtiss, Notting Hill, 1999) 39

 for Thai ‘Mary wrote a novel’ (regular past) 40 for Thai ‘Mary wrote a novel’ (regular past) 40

Example 2 Speaking about oneself Example 2 Speaking about oneself

The scenario: The person who agreed to organise the drinks is to blame. I The scenario: The person who agreed to organise the drinks is to blame. I am to blame. I completely forgot I was put in charge. 42

The difference? The person who agreed to organise the drinks is to blame. = The difference? The person who agreed to organise the drinks is to blame. = I am to blame. 43

 Self-awareness: x common nouns, descriptions, proper names pronouns 44 Self-awareness: x common nouns, descriptions, proper names pronouns 44

 Sammy wants a biscuit. Mummy will be with you in a moment. 45 Sammy wants a biscuit. Mummy will be with you in a moment. 45

Honorifics: Ø Japanese, Thai, Burmese, Javanese, Khmer, Korean, Malay, or Vietnamese The word for Honorifics: Ø Japanese, Thai, Burmese, Javanese, Khmer, Korean, Malay, or Vietnamese The word for ‘I’ has the characteristics of both a pronoun (‘I’) and a noun (‘the presenter’). ‘slave’, ‘servant’, royal slave’, ‘lord’s servant’, ‘Buddha’s servant’ Thai: ‘mouse’ Ø Thai: 27 expressions of first person Ø Japanese: 51 expressions 46

Ø Acoma (New Mexico), Wari’ (Brazil): no personal pronouns 47 Ø Acoma (New Mexico), Wari’ (Brazil): no personal pronouns 47

Referring to oneself ‘to some extent’ One can hear the wolves from the veranda. Referring to oneself ‘to some extent’ One can hear the wolves from the veranda. It is scary to hear the wolves from the veranda. ‘detached self-reference’ 48

 If I were you I would wait a couple of days before issuing If I were you I would wait a couple of days before issuing a complaint. Wait a couple of days before issuing a complaint. 49

‘this’, ‘here’ Ø Thai phŏm 1 nii 2 ( ‘one male this’); Ø Japanese ‘this’, ‘here’ Ø Thai phŏm 1 nii 2 ( ‘one male this’); Ø Japanese kotira, Korean yeogi, and Vietnamese hây (‘here’) 50

‘I’ I I’m the only one around here who can take care of my ‘I’ I I’m the only one around here who can take care of my children. Only I admitted what I did wrong. 51

 Tylko ja jeden przyznałem się do błędu. only 1 Sg sole. Sg. MNom Tylko ja jeden przyznałem się do błędu. only 1 Sg sole. Sg. MNom admit 1 Sg. Past. M Refl to mistake. Sg. MGen Tylko ja jedna tutaj potrafię zajmować się Only 1 Sg sole. Sg. FNom here can 1 Sg. Pres care. Inf Refl swoimi dziećmi. Refl. Pron. Pl Instr child. Pl Instr 52

Conscious awareness is present to different degrees: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) I put Conscious awareness is present to different degrees: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) I put this book back on the shelf. I remember putting this book back on the shelf. I remember I put this book back on the shelf. I think I remember putting this book back on the shelf. I think I put this book back on the shelf. 53

‘It 1+t 2 believe I should have prepared the drinks party. In a way ‘It 1+t 2 believe I should have prepared the drinks party. In a way It 1 also believed that It 1+t 2 should have done it when It 1 walked into the room. The fact is, the person appointed by the Faculty Board should have done it and as It 1 later realised It 1+t 2 was this person. ’ 54

Wiemt 1+t 2, know 1 Sg. Pres przygotować prepare. Inf wtedy też then also Wiemt 1+t 2, know 1 Sg. Pres przygotować prepare. Inf wtedy też then also że that wiedziałamt 1, know 1 Sg. FPast ponieważ because miała be-to. Sg. FPast przygotować prepare. Inf a to and Dem osoba person. Sg. FNom wybranaprzez selected by Radę Wydziału, Board. Sg. FAcc Faculty. Sg. MGen to Dem jat 1+t 2 INom te drinki. this. Acc. Pl drink. Pl. MAcc jat 1+t 2 INom powinnam byłat 1+t 2 should 1 Sg. FPast W pewnym sensie, In certain. Sg. MInstr sense. Sg. MInstr byłam tą be. Sg. FPast Dem. Sg. FInstr je they. NMAcc osobą. person. Sg. FInstr 55

Alice wants what Lidia wants. underlying ‘I’-thought But: Lidia’s mother wants what Lidia wants Alice wants what Lidia wants. underlying ‘I’-thought But: Lidia’s mother wants what Lidia wants and that’s why she is buying her lots of scientific books. no underlying ‘I’-thought 56

 Do sentences convey self-awareness? 57 Do sentences convey self-awareness? 57

‘I believed, in a sense, I was to blame. ’ (marked reading) 58 ‘I believed, in a sense, I was to blame. ’ (marked reading) 58

Wrong about meaning X Formal, precise methods of explaining meaning in language concern sentences Wrong about meaning X Formal, precise methods of explaining meaning in language concern sentences and their strings. 59

Right about meaning Formal, precise methods of explaining meaning in language model linguistic interaction Right about meaning Formal, precise methods of explaining meaning in language model linguistic interaction (speaker’s meaning, addressee’s meaning). 60

Guesswork or algorithms? 61 Guesswork or algorithms? 61

Thank you! 62 Thank you! 62