“The (meta)semantics of context-sensitivity and ambiguity”

October 1–2, 2018, Humboldt University of Berlin

Annie Bosse (University of Cambridge)
Alexander Dinges (Hamburg University)
Katharina Felka (Uppsala University/University of Graz)
Alex Radulescu (University of Missouri Columbia)
Una Stojnic (Columbia University)
Erik Stei (Bonn University)
Agustin Vicente (Ikerbasque Foundation of Science)
Emanuel Viebahn (University of Zurich/HU Berlin)
Julia Zakkou (FU Berlin)

Attendance is free, but space is limited. If you intend to come, please register by emailing emanuel.viebahn at

Provisional schedule

Monday, October 1st

10:15 – 11:45   Agustin Vicente: Polysemy and co-predication: a rich meanings account

11:45 – 12:00   coffee break

12:00 – 13:00   Alexander Dinges and Julia Zakkou (work-in-progress talk)

13:00 – 14:30   lunch break

14:30 – 16:00   Alex Radulescu: Token-Reflexivity and Its Answering Machine Problem

16:00 – 16:30   coffee break

16:30 – 18:00   Emanuel Viebahn: Co-predication and semantic multiplicity


Tuesday, October 2nd

10:15 – 11:45   Una Stojnic

11:45 – 12:00   coffee break

12:00 – 13:00   Erik Stei (work-in-progress talk)

13:00 – 14:30   lunch break

14:30 – 16:00   Annie Bosse

16:00 – 16:30   coffee break

16:30 – 18:00   Katharina Felka: Are there normative generics?


Past workshops and events:

Workshop: Subjective Language

Berlin, 13-14 November 2017

Contact: Hazel Pearson


Monday, November 13
10 am – 11.30 am Carla Umbach “The fixed component of relative predicates
11.30 am – 11.45 am coffee break
11.45 am – 1.15 pm Dilip Ninan “Easy Foreknowledge
1.15 pm – 2.45 pm lunch break
2.45 pm – 4.15 pm Lisa Bylinina “On the linguistic landscape of subjectivity
4.15 pm – 4.30 pm coffee break
4.30 pm – 5.15 pm Hazel Pearson “Predicates of personal taste and the de se – similarities and differences” (work in progress talk)
5.15 pm – 6 pm Frank Sode – “Talking about the best of all possible worlds” (work in progress talk)
7.30 pm Conference dinner: Casalot (location)
Tuesday, November 14
10 am – 11.30 am Stephanie Solt “Diagnosing two sources of subjectivity
11.30 am – 11.45 am coffee break
11.45 am – 1.15 pm Alexander Dinges & Julia Zakkou “A direction effect on taste predicates
1.15 pm – 2.45 pm lunch break
2.45 pm – 3.30 pm Daniel Gutzmann –  “How to get your faultlessness and disagree, too.  Towards a multidimensional approach of taste predicates” (work in progress talk)
3.45 pm – 5.15 pm Malte Willer “Evidence, Attitudes, and Counterstance Contingency: Toward a Pragmatic Theory of Subjective Meaning


Lisa Bylinina (Leiden)
Alexander Dinges (Hamburg)
Daniel Gutzmann (Köln)
Dilip Ninan (Tufts)
Frank Sode (Göttingen)
Stephanie Solt (ZAS)
Carla Umbach (ZAS)
Malte Willer (Chicago)
Julia Zakkou (Hamburg/Freie Universität Berlin)


ZAS Berlin (directions)
Room 308 (the Trajekteraum, 3rd floor)
Schützenstr. 18
10117 Berlin

Additional support from the Leibniz-Centrum für Allgemeine Sprachwisseschaft, and from the DFG projects ‘Expressing similarity II: German equative comparison’ and ‘Degree Attenuators: Attenuating polarity items in the degree domain’ is gratefully acknowledged.

Workshop: What contexts can and cannot do

Hamburg, 7-8 April 2017

Contact: Julia Zakkou


Claudia Bianchi
Daniel Gutzmann
Dirk Kindermann
Jeff King
Craige Roberts
Andreas Stokke
Emanuel Viebahn


Hauptgebäude, AS Saal
Universität Hamburg
Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1
20146 Hamburg


Friday, April 7
10 am – 11.30 am Craige Roberts: “Indexicality: Center and Perspective
11.30 am – 11.45 am coffee break
11.45 am – 1.15 pm Dirk Kindermann: “Knowledge & Anaphora”
1.15 pm – 2.45 pm lunch break
2.45 pm – 4.15 pm Daniel Gutzmann: “How you can (and can’t) update contexts”
4.15 pm – 4.30 pm coffee break
4.30 pm – 6 pm Andreas Stokke
Conference dinner: 8 pm, Balutschi
Saturday, April 8
10 am – 11.30 am Jeff King
11.30 am – 11.45 am coffee break
11.45 am – 1.15 pm Emanuel Viebahn: “Selecting Meanings”
1.15 pm – 2.45 pm lunch break
2.45 pm – 4.15 pm Claudia Bianchi: “The Context of Hate

Find us on the Sociolinguistic Events Calendar:

Discussion group (SPB – Sprachphilosophie Berlin)

Berlin, 3 February 2017

Dirk Kindermann: “Knowledge and embedded implicatures”

Abstract: How should we account for the contextual variability of knowledge ascriptions? Many invariantists favour an account on which such contextual variability is due entirely to pragmatic factors, leaving no interesting context-sensitivity in the semantic meaning of “know that”. In this paper, I reject  this invariantist division of labor. I argue that pragmatic invariantists face a dilemma: Either they have no principled story of the whole variety of occurrences of “S knows/doesn’t know that p”, including occurrences embedded within larger linguistic constructions (e.g. conditionals, attitude verbs, evidentials, modals, comparatives, …); that is, they face a distinctive version of the problem of embedded implicatures. Or they must opt for pragmatic accounts that undermine the invariantist dogma that there is one (semantic) meaning of “know” that captures knowledge (rather than some nearby epistemic relation). The paper sheds new and more systematic light on the interaction of knowledge sentences with embedding expressions as well as on the constraints we should respect when applying pragmatic accounts to the solution of philosophical issues.

Everybody welcome. Please get in touch with Dirk.