The Proper Use of Quantification in Ordinary Language

August 8-12, 2011 - Ljubljana

Despite 40 years of research, quantification is currently again a central topic of research at the interface between logic and language. Generalized Quantifier Theory (GQT) and Discourse Representation Theory (DRT) still are standard bearers when it comes to the representation of quantifier meaning.  But a new frontier in quantification research is to account for the use of quantifiers, in addition to the meaning they contribute to sentence and discourse. 

In GQT and DRT, many quantifiers are semantically identical to one another: most and more than half; at least three, more than two and three; and about 100 and some 100. Even when there is no identity, the meanings of quantifiers overlap, and many quantifiers could be used truthfully to describe the same situation.  Nevertheless, the choice of a specific quantifier by a speaker has semantic and pragmatic consequences, and listeners are sensitive to the subtleties of a speaker's choice. The goal of a theory of quantifier use is an account of how speakers choose one of the many true quantifiers and how listeners interpret a speaker's choice. 

The PUQOL workshop aims to bring together current research within semantics, logic, pragmatics, and cognitive science that addresses quantifier use within the perspective of model theoretic semantics and pragmatics, including:

  • the cognitive processes underlying quantifier production and understanding
  • models of vagueness and approximation in quantifier meaning
  • the link between information structure and quantification
  • the interaction of quantification with pragmatic processes
  • repercussions of work on quantifier use for semantic theory
  • first language acquisition of quantifier meaning and use
  • formal experimental results of particular use to the investigation of quantification

PUQOL will take place as part of the 23rd European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information (ESSLLI 2011).

Invited Speakers

  • Cornelia Ebert (Stuttgart University)
  • Bart Geurts (Nijmegen)
  • Larry Horn (Yale University)
  • Dag Westerståhl (Gothenburg University)

Important Dates

Submission deadline: February 15, 2011
Notifications: April 15, 2011
Extended abstract for ESSLLI 2011 Proceedings:  June 1, 2011

Organizers: Uli Sauerland, Stephanie Solt

Contact: PUQOL 2011 puqol2011(at)gmail.com