11 January 2016

Special Symposium of SSIL in honor of Emmon Bach

Emmon Bach was President of the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages oft he Americas when he passed in November 2014. A special symposium was hosted by SSILA in his honor at the 2016 meetings of the LSA and SSILA last Friday, January 8. A schedule of the proceedings can be found here.

Call for papers: ESSLLI 2016

Referential semantics one step further: Incorporating insights from conceptual and distributional approaches to meaning

ESSLLI 2016 Workshop

22‐26 August 2016,

Bolzano, Italy

Abstract submission deadline: February 15, 2016

URL: http://esslli2016.unibz.it/?page_id=397


Though referential approaches to semantics have proven very successful at providing meaningful analyses for a wide range of natural language data, some important phenomena, particularly involving the lexicon, have eluded insightful treatment. Notions going beyond reference and truth have been influencing referential semantics for years, but the interest in incorporating results and ideas from conceptually‐oriented semantics into referential approaches is noticeably increasing, as seen in the recent series of workshops devoted to the issue (see also e.g. Hamm et al. 2009, Carlson 2010). In parallel, interest has also grown in bringing related insights from cognitively‐informed distributional models of meaning into formal semantics (Lenci 2008, Copestake & Herbelot 2012, Baroni et al. 2014).

The aim of this workshop is to promote a 3‐way dialog among these approaches in order to clarify natural points of contact and to generate specific hypotheses about how to improve the explanatory capacity of referential models in a principled and testable manner. We build from referential models given the empirical evidence that reference (whether to real or imaginary objects) is a fundamental part of linguistic communication. Crucially, however, reference makes use of complex descriptive content. Cognitive/conceptual approaches place greater emphasis precisely on the richness of descriptive content and richer theories of descriptive content clearly lead to richer accounts of compositional phenomena (see e.g. Kamp & Partee 1995, Zwarts & Winter 2000, Asher 2011, Del Pinal 2015, Gust & Umbach 2015, McNally, to appear). On the other hand, cognitive models are laborious to construct, difficult to implement/test, and face challenges in grounding. Compositional distributional models can help with the analysis of rich descriptive content but are not currently suited to dealing with reference. We therefore consider the incorporation of insights from conceptual and distributional models into referential approaches, rather than the reverse, the most viable strategy.

Topics of interest for the workshop include, but are not limited to:

‐ Lexical content, including semantic decomposition and grammatically salient semantic features

‐ Polysemy and “meaning extension” more generally

‐ Semantic composition of complex lexical content, including e.g. co-composition

‐ Alternative models of the notion of kind as used in referential semantics

‐ Foundational issues

‐ Practical methodological and modeling issues


Since we want this workshop to promote extensive discussion in a still underdeveloped area, and we want to encourage broad participation, we welcome two kinds of submissions:

‐ Long (30 minute) papers, for which we solicit two‐page abstracts (plus references, at most 12pt).

‐ Short (10 minute) position statements or comments whose goal is to provoke focuseddiscussion, for which we solicit one‐page abstracts (plus references, at most 12pt).

For those who submit long papers: Please indicate whether you would also be willing to give a position statement/comment as an alternative to a long paper. 

The abstract submission deadline is February 15, 2016. Submission is through Easy Chair at:


Inquiries should be addressed to RefSemPlus2016@gmail.com.


Deadline for abstract submission: February 15, 2016

Author notification: March 31, 2016

Workshop dates: August 22‐26, 2016


Barbara Partee

Marcus Kracht

Alessandro Lenci

Mark Steedman

UMass at the LSA Workshop on Perspectival Expressions

At the annual Linguistic Society of America over this weekend, there was a workshop on Perspectival Expressions and the “de se” reading cross-linguistically. UMass was well-represented.

Alumna Craige Roberts, with Jefferson Barlew and Eric Snyder, presented the paper “Tools for the cross-linguistic de se semantic analysis of perspectival expressions."

Alumna Amy Rose Deal gave the paper “Person/locative asymmetries in Nez Perce indexical shift."


Hazel Pearson and Tom Roeper gave the paper “A methodology for testing for de se/de re ambiguities.

Call for papers: Society for Philosophy and Psychology

The 42nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology

Thursday, June 2 - Saturday, June 4, 2016

The University of Texas at Austin

Submission site now open here

Submission Deadline: February 15, 2016

Papers may be submitted for oral or poster presentation. Submitted papers are refereed and selected on the basis of quality and relevance to philosophy, psychology and cognitive science. See the meeting page for more information and past programs.

Abstracts are solicited for the following presentation types:

 1.    Oral presentation. Presenters of accepted papers will be given time slots of 15-20 minutes plus time for questions. Please submit an abstract of no more than 1500 words.

2.    Posters. Several evenings of the meeting are devoted to concurrent poster presentations. Please submit a 750-word abstract for poster presentations.

Philosophical, psychological or cognitive science research may be submitted for either of the above formats. Work that is not accepted for oral presentation may be considered for poster presentation, with the author(s)’ approval.

Papers and abstracts must be written in a format appropriate for anonymous review and employ gender-neutral language. Individual authors may submit only one paper or abstract as first author, though they may be co-authors on other submissions.

Please submit your paper or abstract by February 15, 2016.

Keynote Speakers: Susan Gelman, Joe Henrich, Doug Medin, Jonathan Schaffer
Invited Symposia:

Causation and Alternatives
- Bob Spunt, Tobias Gerstenberg, Joshua Tennenbaum, Chris Hitchcock

Epistemology and Theory of Mind
- Hyo Gweon, Jennifer Nagel, Alia Martin

Experimental Semantics and Pragmatics
- Noah Goodman, Kathryn Davidson, Angelika Kratzer, David Beaver

Prosociality and Empathy
- Paul Bloom, Felix Warneken, Mina Cikara

There will also be a session on communicating philosophical and psychology research to the public.

In addition, the current SPP President Laurie Santos will give an address, as will the winner of the 2015 Stanton Prize. Past Stanton Prize winners include Sarah-Jane Leslie, Fiery Cushman, Joshua Greene, Edouard Machery, Adina Roskies, and Tania Lombrozo. The William James Prize will be awarded for the best student submission, and attendees will vote on the best poster for the SPP Poster Prize. 

This year, SPP has established a fund devoted to increasing diversity within the society; eligible students are invited to apply for travel awards. Travel awards are to be used to cover conference-related expenses, including transportation, lodging, food, and conference registration. A limited number of additional graduate student travel awards will also be allocated.

 A pre-conference workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, June 1, on Transformative Experience and the Self.  

 Preconference speakers:

Dan Bartels

Paul Bloom and Christina Starmans

Molly Crockett and Alek Chakroff

Fiery Cushman

Alison Gopnik

June Gruber and Sona Dimidjian

Tania Lombrozo and Daniel Wilkenfield

Shaun Nichols and Nina Strohminger

Kristina Olson

Laurie Paul 

Tomer Ullman, Laura Schulz, and Joshua Tenenbaum

Updates and additional speakers will be posted on the meeting page as more information becomes available.

Inquiries about the meeting should be directed to the Program Committee Chairs: Jonathan Phillips (phillips01@g.harvard.edu), Liane Young (liane.young@bc.edu), or Christine Legare (legare@austin.utexas.edu). Inquiries about the local arrangements should be directed to the Local Arrangements Chair Cristine Legare.

Call for papers: Student ESSLLI


Held during the 28th European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information

Bolzano, Italy, August 15-26, 2016

*Deadline for submissions: March 10th, 2016



The Student Session of the 28th European Summer School in Logic, Language, and Information (ESSLLI) will take place in Bolzano, Italy, August 15th to 26th (http://esslli2016.unibz.it). We invite submissions of original, unpublished work from students in any area at the intersection of Logic & Language, Language & Computation, or Logic & Computation. Submissions will be reviewed by several experts in the field, and accepted papers will be presented orally or as posters and selected papers will appear in the Student Session proceedings by Springer. This is an excellent opportunity to receive valuable feedback from expert readers and to present your work to a diverse audience.


Note that there are two separate kinds of submissions, one for oralpresentations and one for posters. This means that papers are directly submitted either as oral presentations or as poster presentations. Reviewing and ranking will be done separately. We particularly encourage submissions for posters, as they offer an excellent opportunity to present smaller research projects and research in progress.


Authors must be students, and submissions may be singly or jointlyauthored. Each author may submit at most one single and one jointlyauthored contribution. Submissions should not be longer than 8 pages foran oral presentation or 4 pages for a poster presentation (including examples and references). Submissions must be anonymous, without any identifying information. More detailed guidelines regarding submissioncan be found on the Student Session website:http://www2.sfs.uni-tuebingen.de/esslli-stus-2016/.


As in previous years, Springer has kindly agreed to sponsor the ESSLLI student session. The best poster and best talk will be awarded Springer book vouchers of 500€ each.


Please direct inquiries about submission procedures or other matters relating to the Student Session to marisa.koellner@uni-tuebingen.de and rziai@sfs.uni-tuebingen.de.

ESSLLI 2016 will feature a wide range of foundational and advanced courses and workshops in all areas of Logic, Language, and Computation. For further information, including registration information and course listings, and for general inquiries about ESSLLI 2016, please consult the main ESSLLI 2016 page: http://esslli2016.unibz.it.