Language and Logic Courses

Introductory Courses

An opinionated guide to predicates of personal taste

Natasha Korotkova and Pranav Anand

Week 1, August 3-7, 2020


There has been a lot of recent work in formal semantics and philosophy of language on
predicates of personal taste (PPTs) such as "tasty" and "fun". The linguistic behavior of PPTs differs from that of other predicates (OPs), like "round" or "popular", both in grammatical distribution and conversational dynamics: for example, disagreements over tastiness are seen as matters of opinion, not fact. The PPT-OP difference is at the heart of an ongoing contextualism-relativism-expressivism debate.

This course is a focused examination of PPTs—the empirical discoveries, the theoretical landscape, their connection with subjective language—much like has been in done in (von Fintel and Gillies 2008) for epistemic modality. The course is aimed at anyone familiar with intensional semantics and formal pragmatics and does not presuppose prior background on subjectivity, which will be provided.

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32nd European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information - ESSLLI 2021
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