[SydPhil] Notification: Una Stojnic @ Wed 9 Aug 2017 13:00 - 14:30 (Seminars)

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Title: Una Stojnic
Vague Utterances in Context

“John is tall” is both context-sensitive and vague. Yet we can communicate  
with it even if no one knows how tall is tall or how tall John is. How then  
do we reconcile the idea that such utterances convey information, with the  
idea that they exhibit vagueness? We argue that contextual resolution of  
words like “tall” is determined by mechanisms of discourse coherence that  
specify the linguistic relations utterances containing them bear to prior  
discourse and the real-world situation they are embedded in. This allows us  
to explain how such utterances can have precise truth-conditions, yet  
exhibit vagueness: agents typically have incomplete information about the  
standards set by mechanisms of discourse coherence. It also elegantly  
captures the distinctive roles such utterances can play in communication:  
they can serve to make a useful distinction among the relevant class of  
individuals, as well as to refine our understanding of the contextual  
When: Wed 9 Aug 2017 13:00 – 14:30 Eastern Time - Melbourne, Sydney
Calendar: Seminars
     * Sam Shpall- creator

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