Empirically motivated logical representations in lexical semantics

MSc Project January 2010 -- MSc in Logic

This project led to the following paper:

Andreas van Cranenburgh, Galit W. Sassoon, and Raquel Fernández (2010) Invented Antonyms: Esperanto as a Semantic Lab. In Proceedings of the 26th Annual Meeting of the Israel Association for Theoretical Linguistics (IATL-26), Bar-Ilan University, Israel.


Raquel Fernández and Galit Sassoon


[overview slides from the brief presentation on 8 December 2009]

This is a logic and language project which combines formal semantics and empirical research to study issues in lexical semantics. The course will focus on the semantics of predicates, including gradable adjectives, multidimensional adjectives and nouns, antonyms, and vague predicates. The aim of the course is to use data-driven empirical methods to motivate or refute logic-based formal representations of predicate interpretation.

The first week will involve lectures where we will introduce the main theoretical issues and the empirical methodology. Before the course starts, we will make available a bibliography of relevant literature and students will read selected papers as preparation for the lectures, which will be followed by a discussion. Students will then define their own projects and research plans, which should include empirical work supporting or refuting an existing semantic proposal or new ideas proposed by the students. After the first week, we plan to have at least one group meeting per week, and meetings with individual students upon request.

At the end of the course, students will submit a report of their research. Participation in the group meetings (including discussions during the first week) will also contribute to the final assessment.


Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Presentation about Esperanto by Andreas van Cranenburgh


Theoretical references

Methodological references

Some corpus resources