Meaning, Prosody and Commitment

Language and Logic Courses

Introductory Course

Meaning, Prosody and Commitment,
Claire Beyssade (The University of Paris VIII, France) and Elisabeth Delais-Roussarie (CNRS-LLING – Nantes, France)

Introduced by Hamblin in the 70s, and subsequently largely ignored, the notion of commitment has today become central in formal semantics and pragmatics and in particular in the literature on speech acts, discursive particles, and prosody. The course intends to systematize the material about commitment offering a historical overview (session-1) and a detailed presentation of available formal models (session-2). It will then evaluate these theories across three empirical domains: prosody (session-3), modality (session-4), and attitudes (session-5). In the last two sessions, by making the notion of commitment invest areas for which truth in epistemic models or private states has been traditionally used, we will propose to revisit the divide between private and public states firstly established by Hamblin. We will explore the intricacies between these two spaces and propose new answers to hot debates on modals and attitudes.