Event Detail

Mon Mar 17, 2014
Dwinelle 3401, 12:30–2:30 PM
Meaning Sciences Club
Chris Barker (NYU)
Logic versus pragmatics for “same”

Adjectives like “same” and “different” interact with their linguistic and pragmatic context in intricate ways: “The man read the same book” requires there to already be a contextually identifiable book in a way that “The men read the same book” does not. One of the major issues that runs through the literature is a debate about the relative importance of local linguistic context versus essential reliance on pragmatic context. Barker, and also Brasoveanu, stake out positions near the end of the spectrum where there is almost no important role for pragmatic context. Instead, the connection between “same” and its antecedent is quite literally a matter of logic (in the case of Barker, a particular substructural logic in the tradition of Lambek). In contrast, Hardt et al. 2012 and Hardt and Mikkelsen 2013 argue that “same” is anaphoric to an eventuality (roughly, a kind of proposition), and call upon a pragmatically-supplied relation they call Parallel. This talk will be framed as an appreciation and a critique of their contributions to the debate, considering them in light of new empirical generalizations in unpublished work of Bumford.