Seminar on Language and Communication. Monday, November 18, 2013, 10:00 am ( Seminar)

When end where

  • From: 18/11/2013
  • To: 18/11/2013


ILCLI, University of the Basque Country Room 4, Carlos Santamaria Zentroa, Donostia Monday, November 18, 2013, 10:00 am
  • 10:00-11:15. Eros Corazza: Same-Saying and De Se
  • 11:15-11:45 Coffee break
  • 11:45-13:00. Yan Huang: Anaphora and Binding

(Attendance is free, but if you wish to attend please contact beforehand)

Eros Corazza was educated at the University of Geneva and Indiana University. After a 3 year post-doc at Stanford he joined the philosophy department at the University of Nottingham. In 2005 he joined Carleton University Philosophy and Cognitive Science Departments and in 2009 he became a Ikerbasque Research Professor affiliated to ILCLI (The University of the Basque Country). His main interests concern the philosophy of language/mind, philosophy of linguistics and cognitive sciences.

Yan Huang (PhD Cambridge, DPhil Oxford) is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Auckland. He has previously taught linguistics at the universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Reading, where he was Professor of Theoretical Linguistics. He has also spent his sabbatical/research leave and lectured at both Yale and Harvard universities. His main research interests are in pragmatics, especially the pragmatics-semantics interface and pragmatics-syntax interface including anaphora. His books include The Syntax and Pragmatics of Anaphora (Cambridge University Press 1994, re-issued in 2007), Anaphora: A Cross-Linguistic Study (Oxford University Press 2000), Pragmatics (Oxford University Press 2007) and The Oxford Dictionary of Pragmatics (Oxford University Press 2012). His Pragmatics has been, and is being, translated into a number of languages. He has also published numerous articles and reviews in leading internationally journals of linguistics. He is on the editorial board of a number of international linguistics journals and research monograph series. He has been invited to lecture in more than 120 universities and research institutes in many countries in Europe, North America, Asia, Australasia, and North Africa. Currently he is editing The Oxford Handbook of Pragmatics, contracted to be published by Oxford University Press in 2015.


Same-Saying and De Se
Eros Corazza
ILCLI & Ikerbasque
University of the Basque Country

Communication is a joint activity and the success of linguistic exchanges often relies on people saying the same thing and, thus, conveying the same message. I'll discuss and highlight the importance of the notion of same-saying and how it can be accommodated when interlocutors express first-person (de se) thoughts. In so doing, I propose a Perry (2001) and Korta & Perry (2011)-inspired pluri-propositionalist model of communication and I appeal to Castañeda's (1966, 1969) quasi-indicators (cf. Corazza 2004). To stress the importance of quasi-indicators I'll also rely to come cross-linguistic data (e.g. how some anaphoric pronouns work in so-called logophoric languages). The picture I'll propose, highlight how people can be classifies as same-sayers in different ways: (i) if they express the same proposition or semantic content and (ii) if they utters the same words. When we classify two people expressing a de se thought as same-sayers we must make place for quasi-indicators (understood as logophoric pronouns) into the reflexive truth-conditions classifying their respective thoughts.

Anaphora and Binding
Yan Huang
University of Auckland

The aim of this paper is twofold: firstly to comment on the two main generative approaches to binding/anaphora, and secondly to advance a revised neo-Gricean pragmatic theory of anaphora based on Huang (e.g. 1991, 1994, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010a, b, 2013, 2014) and Levinson (1987, 1991, 2000).

Anaphora involves syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic factors. Although it is generally acknowledged that pragmatic factors play an important role in discourse anaphora, it is equally widely held that only syntactic and semantic factors are crucial to intrasentential anaphora. But there has been compelling cross-linguistic evidence that contrary to this popular Chomskyan view, the contribution of pragmatics to anaphora is much more fundamental than has been commonly believed, even at the very heart of intrasentential anaphora.

In this paper I shall concentrate on that type of referential, NP-anaphora known as binding in the literature. I shall first discuss the two main generative accounts of binding, namely the syntactic/geometric one represented by Chomsky (1981, 1995) and the semantic/reflexivity one represented by Reinhart and Reuland (1993) (see also Reuland 2012). I shall then present my revised neo-Gricean pragmatic theory of anaphora.

The underlying idea of the revised neo-Gricean pragmatic approach is that the interpretation of certain patterns of anaphora can be made using general pragmatic enrichment, depending on the language user's knowledge of the range of options available in the grammar, and of the systematic use or avoidance of particular linguistic expressions or structures on particular occasions.

In our theory, anaphora is largely determined by the systematic interaction of the three neo-Gricean pragmatic principles proposed by Levinson (1987, 1991, 2000), namely the Q-, M-, and I-principles (with that order of priority), constrained by a DRP, information saliency and general consistency conditions on conversational implicatures. I shall demonstrate that by utilising these principles and the resolution mechanism organising their interaction, many patterns of preferred interpretation regarding intrasentential binding/anaphorain a large variety of genetically unrelated and structurally diverse languages can be given an elegant and satisfactory explanation.