Area of interests

Broad: Formal semantics and pragmatics, philosophical logic, philosophy of language.

Narrow: Quantification, modals, propositional attitudes, reference, indefinites, disjunction, indexicals, questions, imperatives, focus-topic structure, presupposition, indefinites, free choice phenomena, comparatives, ellipsis, implicatures, exhaustification, cross-linguistic semantics, diachronic semantics, corpus semantics, optimality theory, formal epistemology, quantified modal logic, bilateral modal logic, dynamic semantics, inquisitive semantics, truth-maker semantics, team logic, two-dimensional semantics.

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PhD Thesis

Maria Aloni. Quantification under Conceptual Covers. PhD thesis, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, 2001. PDF

The thesis (winner of the E. W. Beth Dissertation Prize in 2002) is about quantification in intensional contexts like questions, propositional attitude reports and epistemic sentences. First it is observed that our evaluation of these constructions crucially depends on the way in which the relevant objects are identified in the specific circumstances of the utterance. This contextual dependence is then made formally precise by representing different methods of identification and by relativizing interpretation to these methods. In this way the thesis succeeds in giving a uniform solution to three (old and recent) important problems of the theory of interpretation – the problem of the representation of the cognitive significance of identity questions, the logico-philosophical puzzle of de re belief ascriptions, and the technical problem of the combination of dynamic quantifiers with ‘holistic’ notions, like presupposition, modals, or support. In the final chapter of the thesis, this solution is adapted to recent pragmatic developments in optimality theoretic and game-theoretic interpretation.

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