N∅thing is Logical

Project title: Nāˆ…thing is Logical (NihiL)

Short description:

People often reason contrary to the prescriptions of classical logic. In this project we study cases of divergence between logic and language, and, challenging the canonical view, we hypothesise that they are a straightforward consequence of a tendency in human cognition to neglect empty representations (neglect-zero). We develop logics where we formally represent neglect-zero and rigorously study its impact on interpretation; explore its possible lexicalizations in specific linguistic domains; and experimentally investigate its impact in ordinary conversations and its conjectured suspension for example in the context of a mathematical proof.

Principal Investigator: Maria Aloni