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Craige Roberts


Selected Publications and Manuscripts

2023 LSA Course on Anaphora

 QUD Bibliography

Curriculum Vitae

OSU Linguistics Department

portrait by Prudence Whittlesey 2013

Professor Emerita of Linguistics
The Ohio State University

Research Scholar, Barnard College

My main areas of specialization within linguistics are formal semantics and pragmatics and the dynamic interaction between semantic content and context in the course of interpretation. Within these fields, my principal research interests are:

  • Anaphora, definiteness, and specificity. Indexicals and proper names.
  • Formal models of the context of utterance and its role in interpretation: Presupposition, focus, implicature, perspective, domain restriction, and dynamic pragmatics.
  • The semantics and pragmatics of modality, mood, tense, and aspect.

I retired from the Linguistics Department at The Ohio State University in 2016, and have since resided in New York City, where I am fortunate to be a member of a lively community of researchers working on linguistic semantics and pragmatics and the philosophy of language. Thanks so much to my colleagues at Barnard College, NYU, and Rutgers University, and especially the NY Philosophy of Language Workshop, who have made me feel at home here.

I taught a short course on Anaphora Resolution in Formal Pragmatics at the LSA 2023 Summer Institute at UMass/Amherst this past July (2023). The lecture notes from that course are linked on the menu at the left. I've also linked lecture notes from an earlier course on Indexicality taught at NYU in 2017.

I have three papers newly accepted for publication:

My paper "The indexical Character of epistemic modality'' is now published on-line in Linguistics and Philosophy.

I've extended the framework I proposed in my 1996 paper on Questions Under Discussion to consider the semantics and pragmatics of imperatives and directive speech acts. "Imperatives in dynamic pragmatics" has now been published on-line in Semantics and Pragmatics.

I've been collaborating with Mandy Simons since 2006 to study projective meaning: presupposition, conventional implicature, and other non-assertoric aspects of utterance meaning. Our joint paper "Preconditions and Projection: Explaining Non-Anaphoric Presupposition", focusing on the projective content of factive and change of state verb, has been accepted by Linguistics and Philosophy.

Right now I'm working on several projects:

I'll be giving comments on Jeff King's recent book Felicitous Underspecification at the upcoming 2024 Eastern APA in NYC.

I gave the Beth Lecture at the 2022 Amsterdam Colloquium, ''The architecture of interpretation: Auxiliary content and pragmatic competence'', an extension of my earlier paper on ''Linguistic content and the architecture of interpretation'', which focused on discourse anaphora. Auxiliary content yields what Chris Potts (2005) called conventional implicatures. Setting aside Potts' multi-dimensional analysis, I argue that such phenomena provide both empirical and conceptual support for a rich, dynamic pragmatics for the update of local context, and a particular view of the nature of pragmatic competence as it bears on natural language semantics.

I've been working for several years on how indexicality and doxastic perspective influence interpretation in natural languages. The recently published paper on epistemic modality is part of that project, as is the work on conventional implicature. I'm currently working on two papers: "Capturing the de se" addresses the question of how to formally represent that class of interpretations, and "Indexicality and perspective" addresses the issue of shifting indexicality.

I first gave ''Coherence, salience and anaphora: The role of the QUD'' as an invited lecture at the workshop on Coherence and Anaphora organized by Daniel Altshuler and Sam Cumming at NASSLLI 2016, Rutgers. It still needs work on a couple of points, but if you're interested and read it, I'd appreciate any feedback.

I'm a member of the editorial board of Semantics and Pragmatics, and the Executive Board of Linguistics and Philosophy.

Contact Information:
Email: roberts DOT 21 AT osu.edu