Angelika Kratzer
Angelika Kratzer

Angela Kratzer Chosen to Deliver John Locke Lectures

From the University of Massachusetts, Amherst website:

Angelika Kratzer, professor emeritus in the UMass Amherst Department of Linguistics, has been chosen to deliver the 2022 John Locke Lectures at the University of Oxford. She is delivering a series of weekly lectures based on the topic “Reports of what we say, know, or believe through June 1.

According to the University of Oxford website, “the John Locke Lectures are among the world's most distinguished lecture series in philosophy." The series began in 1950, funded by a generous bequest from Henry Wilde.

Dr. Kratzer’s area of specialization is semantics, an interdisciplinary field located at the intersection of linguistics, cognitive psychology, logic, and philosophy. Her research concerns how natural languages are constructed to make it possible for humans to assemble complex meanings systematically from small and simple pieces.

Abstract for “Reports of what we say, know, or believe”:

Attitude ascriptions and speech reports are a litmus test for any semantic theory. They were at the center of discussion when philosophers and logicians became interested in natural language and began to develop the semantic frameworks we are relying on today. Mastery of attitude ascriptions and speech reports is a milestone in the cognitive development of a child and the human species as a whole. 

Attitude and speech reports are built from smaller building blocks that combine and recombine to produce the interpretations those reports have. Dr. Kratzer’s lectures will be a search for those building blocks and for clues about how they might interact with each other. The goal—like that of any semantic theory—is a typology where the combinatorics of building blocks generates the range of possible interpretations of the constructions we are trying to understand.

In total, Dr. Kratzer will deliver six lectures:

  1. Lecture 1 'The puzzles: What we are trying to understand' 
  2. Lecture 2 'Reporting what we say
  3. Lecture 3 'Modal building blocks'
  4. Lecture 4 'Reporting what we know
  5. Lecture 5 'Reporting what we believe'
  6. Lecture 6 'Towards a typology'

Brian Joseph Awarded Honorary Doctorate

Brian Joseph in academic regalia at Aristotle University
Brian Joseph receives his honorary doctorate

LSA Member Brian Joseph, Distinguished University Professor at The Ohio State University, received an honorary doctorate from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece on May 18, 2022. Aristotle University is the university where, some 45 years ago, Dr. Joseph began to get to know Greek linguists and become part of the Greek linguistic community while doing his dissertation research there. The ceremony was held in the very same building where he worked reading Medieval Greek texts and where he gave his very first public presentation in Greek.