Hidden expectations (talk recording available)
Dr. Frank Veltman
Tuesday, April 19, 2016, 01:00pm - 02:00pm
University of Amsterdam, Institute for Logic, Language and Computation
In this talk I will have to say something about a variety of topics:
— epistemic modalities (What is the difference between `may’ and `might’?)
— conditionals (There is a third kind of conditionals, “somewhere between” indicatives and counterfactuals.)
— gradable adjectives (Why is it is normal to be neither tall nor short?)
— generic sentences (Why accept `lions have manes’ rather than `lions don’t have manes’? How come `Boys don’t cry’ seems to express a norm rather than a fact?).
What these topics have in common is that one cannot explain the meaning — not even the logical properties — of the expressions involved without explaining how they affect people’s “expectations”. This can best be done in a framework in which the meaning of a sentence is not equated with its truth conditions but with its (potential) impact the intentional state of an addressee.