Project title: Indefinites and beyond. Evolutionary pragmatics and typological semantics.
Short description: People can and do infer information above and beyond what other people actually say. Focusing on expressions with indefinite reference, this research project studies how these inferences based on language use can become part of literal meaning in historical processes of conventionalizations. To this aim the project includes a number of synchronic and diachronic studies of indefinite words in various languages and develops formal models of their variation in meaning and use.
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Research founding: NWO Vidi project (2007-2012)
Principal Investigator: Maria Aloni