Semantics, Memory, and Emotion II

Thursday 08 September 2022, 09:00 to Friday 09 September 2022, 19:00
Jonathan Ginzburg (LLF)

The University of Chicago Center in Paris
6 rue Thomas Mann
75013 Paris, France

There is a tendency in cognitive science to avoid the development of theories that attempt large scale integration of domains which appear to be closely related (Gigerenzer, 2010; Dale, Fusaroli, Duran, and Richardson 2013). Natural language semantics has for many years been driven by an integrative theoretical approach, dynamic semantics, whose main slogan is "meaning as transitions between contexts", where the formal notion of context is to be construed as cognitive states. Nonetheless, there is on the whole little contact with empirical work on the structure and dynamics of naturally occurring memory and appraisal systems, though these should figure in accounts of phenomena like anaphora, ellipsis, attitude reports, etc. Integrative empirical and theoretical approaches are necessary for understanding contexts and/as cognitive states, including the brain structures typically involved. Arguably, this becomes an even more pressing issue for accounts of multimodal phenomena such as laughter, gaze or pointing, given the increasing complexity of contextual structures that need to be postulated. Conversely, neuropsychological work on memory and emotion is a flourishing area and yet the lion's share of studies are highly lab- and sentence-based and do not directly address spontaneous speech in conversational settings. There is also little work on using semantic tools or notions to directly model neural processing of natural language.