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Profile: Uli Sauerland (Center for General Linguistics, Berlin)
  1. Uli Sauerland, Vagueness in Language: The Case Against Fuzzy Logic Revisited.
    Kamp and Fine presented an influential argument against the use of fuzzy logic for linguistic semantics in 1975. However, the argument assumes that contradictions of the form "A and not A" have semantic value zero. The argument has been recently criticized because sentences of this form are actually not perceived as contradictory by naive speakers. I present new experimental evidence arguing that fuzzy logic still isn't useful for linguistic semantics even if we take such naive speaker judgements at face value. (...)
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  2. Uli Sauerland, Lucas Champollion & Stanford SemFest, Definiteness, Inverse Linking, and Narrowing.
    (1) adapted from (Higginbotham, 2006): (black instead of red) a. Do you see the man in (or: wearing) the black hat? b. #Do you see the man in (or: wearing) a black hat?
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  3. Rick Nouwen, Robert van Rooij, Uli Sauerland & Hans-Christian Schmitz (eds.) (forthcoming). Vagueness in Communication. Springer.
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  4. Sam Alxatib, Peter Pagin & Uli Sauerland (2013). Acceptable Contradictions: Pragmatics or Semantics? A Reply to Cobreros Et Al. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (4):619-634.
    Naive speakers find some logical contradictions acceptable, specifically borderline contradictions involving vague predicates such as Joe is and isn’t tall. In a recent paper, Cobreros et al. (J Philos Logic, 2012) suggest a pragmatic account of the acceptability of borderline contradictions. We show, however, that the pragmatic account predicts the wrong truth conditions for some examples with disjunction. As a remedy, we propose a semantic analysis instead. The analysis is close to a variant of fuzzy logic, but conjunction and disjunction (...)
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  5. Chris Cummins, Uli Sauerland & Stephanie Solt (2012). Granularity and Scalar Implicature in Numerical Expressions. Linguistics and Philosophy 35 (2):135-169.
    It has been generally assumed that certain categories of numerical expressions, such as ‘more than n’, ‘at least n’, and ‘fewer than n’, systematically fail to give rise to scalar implicatures in unembedded declarative contexts. Various proposals have been developed to explain this perceived absence. In this paper, we consider the relevance of scale granularity to scalar implicature, and make two novel predictions: first, that scalar implicatures are in fact available from these numerical expressions at the appropriate granularity level, and (...)
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  6. Uli Sauerland & Kazuko Yatsushiro (eds.) (2009). Semantics and Pragmatics: From Experiment to Theory. Palgrave Macmillan.
     
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  7. Uli Sauerland & Penka Stateva (eds.) (2007). Presupposition and Implicature in Compositional Semantics. Palgrave Macmillan.
    All humans can interpret sentences of their native language quickly and without effort. Working from the perspective of generative grammar, the contributors investigate three mental mechanisms, widely assumed to underlie this ability: compositional semantics, implicature computation and presupposition computation. This volume brings together experts from semantics and pragmatics to bring forward the study of interconnections between these three mechanisms. The contributions develop new insights into important empirical phenomena; for example, approximation, free choice, accommodation, and exhaustivity effects.
     
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  8. Sarah Hulsey & Uli Sauerland (2006). Sorting Out Relative Clauses. Natural Language Semantics 14 (2):111-137.
    This paper investigates the structure of English restrictive relative clauses. It provides support for the view that restrictive relative clauses are structurally ambiguous between two structures: the head-internal, raising structure and the matching structure, which has both an internal and an external head. We present a new test from extraposition facts that distinguishes between the raising and matching structures for relative clauses. Furthermore, this paper presents an account of the semantics of raising relative clauses which is intended to complete the (...)
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  9. Uli Sauerland (2004). Scalar Implicatures in Complex Sentences. Linguistics and Philosophy 27 (3):367-391.
    This article develops a Gricean account for the computation of scalarimplicatures in cases where one scalar term is in the scope ofanother. It shows that a cross-product of two quantitative scalesyields the appropriate scale for many such cases. One exception iscases involving disjunction. For these, I propose an analysis that makesuse of a novel, partially ordered quantitative scale for disjunction andcapitalizes on the idea that implicatures may have different epistemic status.
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  10. Uli Sauerland (2004). The Interpretation of Traces. Natural Language Semantics 12 (1):63-127.
    This paper argues that parts of the lexical content of an A-bar moved phrase must be interpreted in the base position of movement. The argument is based on a study of deletion of a phrase that contains the base position of movement. I show that deletion licensing is sensitive to the content of the moved phrase. In this way, I corroborate and extend conclusions based on Condition C reconstruction by N. Chomsky and D. Fox. My result provides semantic evidence for (...)
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  11. Sigrid Beck & Uli Sauerland (2000). Cumulation is Needed: A Reply to Winter (2000). [REVIEW] Natural Language Semantics 8 (4):349-371.
    Winter (2000) argues that so-called co-distributive or cumulative readings do not involve polyadic quantification (contra proposals by Krifka, Schwarzschild, Sternefeld, and others). Instead, he proposes that all such readings involve a hidden anaphoric dependency or a lexical mechanism. We show that Winter's proposal is insufficient for a number of cases of cumulative readings, and that Krifka's and Sternefeld's polyadic **-operator is needed in addition to dependent definites. Our arguments come from new observations concerning dependent plurals and clause-boundedness effects with cumulative (...)
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  12. Pauline Jacobson, Paycheck Pronouns, Bach-Peters Sentences, Inflectional Head, Thomas Ede Zimmermann, Free Choice Disjunction, Epistemic Possibility, Sigrid Beck & Uli Sauerland (2000). Lisa Green/Aspectual Be–Type Constructions and Coercion in African American English Yoad Winter/Distributivity and Dependency Instructions for Authors. Natural Language Semantics 8 (373).
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  13. Beck Sigrid & Uli Sauerland (2000). Cumulation is Needed: A Reply to Winter. Natural Language Semantics 8:349-371.
     
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  14. Danny Fox & Uli Sauerland (1997). Illusive Scope of Universal Quantifiers. In Jill Beckman (ed.), Proceedings of NELS 26. GLSA, UMass Amhert.
    It is widely believed that existential quantifiers can bring about the semantic effects of a scope which is wider than their actual syntactic scope (See Fodor & Sag (1982), Cresti (1995), Kratzer (1995), Reinhart (1995) and Winter (1995), among many others.) On the other hand, it is assumed that the syntactic scope of universal quantifiers can be determined unequivocally by the semantics. This paper shows that this second assumption is wrong; universal quantifiers can also bring about scope illusions, though in (...)
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