Language is at the center of almost every human activity. Yet producing and understanding even the simplest of sentences is one of the most complicated tasks that humans perform. Linguistics, the general study of language, attempts to answer the following questions: How do we produce and understand sentences? How is language acquired by children? What are the ways in which the languages of the world are alike and different? How do languages change over time? How does our ability to speak language compare to our other cognitive abilities? How is language used in different social and cultural contexts?

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  • Alternative semantics 

    Rooth, Mats (Oxford University Press, 2016)
    This chapter presents the semantics and pragmatics of prosodic focus in alternative semantics. Half a dozen examples are given of empirical phenomena that are to be covered by the theory. Then a syntax marking the locus, ...
  • Adverbs of quantification 

    Rooth, Mats (2019-07-12)
    Article on David Lewis's Adverbs of Quantification (1975), prepared for A Reader's Guide to Classical Papers in Formal Semantics, Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy 100, edited by Zoltan Szabo and Luise McNally. Author's ...
  • Picture descriptions and centered content 

    Rooth, Mats; Abusch, Dorit (University of Edinburgh/CreateSpace, 2018)
    There is an argument based on sentences that describe pictures in favor of a viewpoint- centered possible worlds semantics for pictures, over a propositional semantics (J. Ross 1997). The argument involves perspectival ...
  • The formal semantics of free perception in pictorial narratives 

    Abusch, Dorit; Rooth, Mats (2017)
    This paper semantically analyzes “free perception” sequences in pictorial narratives such as comics, where one panel shows a character looking, and the next panel shows what they see. Pictorial contents are assumed to be ...
  • Indexing across media 

    Rooth, Mats; Abusch, Dorit (ILLC, University of Amsterdam, 2019-12)
  • Finite state intensional semantics 

    Rooth, Mats (2017-10)
    The paper presents a computable formulation of Hintikka semantics for clausal complements and partition semantics for questions in a framework where worlds are strings, propositions are regular sets of worlds, and epistemic ...
  • Possible worlds semantics for pictures 

    Abusch, Dorit (2015-12-06)
    Possible worlds semantics for pictures is reviewed. Pictures are mapped to propositional semantic values by a geometric method. On this basis, an account of the temporal interpretation of pictorial narratives is constructed. ...
  • Acoustic Classification of Focus: On the Web and in the Lab 

    Howell, Jonathan; Rooth, Mats; Wagner, Michael (2016-02-26)
    We present a new methodological approach which combines both naturally-occurring speech “harvested” on the web and speech data elicited in the laboratory. This proof-of-concept study examines the phenomenon of focus ...
  • Headed span theory in the finite state calculus 

    Rooth, Mats (2016-01-02)
    A development of headed span theory in the finite state calculus. Slides for colloquium presentation at University of Delaware, March 20, 2014.
  • Representing Focus Scoping over New 

    Rooth, Mats (GLSA, Amherst, MA, 2015)

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