K. M. Jaszczolt

Katarzyna M. Jaszczolt

Theoretical and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages
University of Cambridge
Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge CB3 9DA
United Kingdom

K. M. Jaszczolt


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K. M. Jaszczolt

Research interests

My interests lie in the area of semantics, pragmatics, cognitive science, and philosophy of language. I can define myself as a post-Gricean pragmaticist, truth-conditional semanticist of a dynamic semantics orientation, and a supporter of contextualism in the representation of meaning, i.e. the idea that the interesting truth conditions are those of an utterance rather than a sentence: information from pragmatic inference and other contextual input contributes to the truth-conditional content.

I am interested in modelling of the process of meaning construction in discourse that takes into account the intentionality of acts of communication as well as the compositional character of meaning. I work mainly on the semantics of propositional attitude constructions and other intensional contexts; referring expressions; semantic ambiguity and underspecification; semantics/pragmatics interface; the saying/implicating distinction, and defaults in communication. In my theory of Default Semantics, I implemented the dynamic semantic approach of Discourse Representation Theory to a wide category of acts of communication, accounting for the pragmatic origin of some components of truth-conditional meaning as proposed in truth-conditional pragmatics. My long-term project stemming from this theory concerns mapping of various aspects of meaning of acts of communication onto relevant processes and modelling their interaction.

One of my recent projects concerned semantic representation of time. In Representing Time, I developed an account of temporality understood as epistemic modality: a degree of detachment from the situation conveyed by the utterance. My other related interests concern compositionality of language and thought, conceptualization of time in various languages, and contrastive semantics and pragmatics. I have supervised many undergraduate, M.Phil and PhD dissertations in the above areas of research.

I am currently working on first-person reference from the philosophical as well as cross-linguistic perspective, addressing such questions as the linguistic means that are used to refer to oneself in different cultures, the status of first-person beliefs (beliefs 'de se'), and the semantic properties of reports on beliefs de se. It is evident from the study of the means that languages employ for first-person reference that there is no bi-unique mapping between expression types and the concept of 'referring to oneself'; there are also degrees to which the concept of first-person reference is salient and conveyed in discourse. This leads to a pragmatic category of indexicals, proposed in my new book Meaning in Linguistic Interaction: Semantics, Metasemantics, Philosophy of Language (OUP, January 2016).

I am also Principal Investigator in a project 'Expressing the Self: Cultural Diversity and Cognitive Universals' funded by The Leverhulme Trust in which we investigate self-reference across a range of languages from different language families.

I have also developed the concept of the so-called 'fluid characters', that is the extension of the content-character distinction, in order ot account for the flexibility of the unit that constitutes the base for pragmatic modulation.

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