Context Structures

This is a course in formal pragmatics.  Its aim is to propose and defend an articulated context structure that brings together elements of earlier work, in particular Stalnaker 1978, Groenendijk and Stokhof 1994, and Gunlogson 2001.  I then explore how this structure allows us to capture the similarities and differences between reactions to questions and reactions to assertions within a view of speech acts that follows proposals in Krifka 2001.   The course ends with a discussion of the way polarity discourse particles work in Hungarian, Romanian and French.  Relevant readings will be provided in electronic form. Students are assumed to have some familiarity with the tools of formal semantics.



Meeting 1
Discussion of Stalnaker 1978

Meeting 2
Dividing the common ground: Gunlogson 2001/2003

Meeting 3
Questions: Groenendijk 1999, Krifka 2001

Meeting 4
An expanded context structure: assertions and polar questions compared

Meeting 5
The grammar of polarity particles