Tid: 12 september 2011 kl 15.15-16.00.Seminarierummet 3721, Institutionen för matematik, KTH, Lindstedts väg 25, plan 7. Karta!
Titel: Inference, causation, and conditionals
Abstract Conditionals -- statements of the form ''If A, then B'' -- may be said to serve two principal purposes in natural language. Sometimes they give expression to a speaker's subjective - hypothetical willingness to conclude B, should he discover that A. In other cases conditionals are used to assert that some kind of objective relation of dependence obtains between A and B -- for instance, a causal relation.
The distinction is related to that between subjective and objective probabilities; but it is not very clear-cut either from a conceptual or a syntactic point of view. In my presentation I will discuss (1) the conceptual differences between the two main kinds of conditional judgment, and (2) the linguistic means employed by speakers to indicate the distinction. As it turns out, the relevant grammatical distinction is only roughly correlated with the conceptual one; in the interest of conceptual clarity I will attempt to uncover some of the underlying reasons for this discrepancy.
|Sidansvarig: Filip Lindskog