Probabilistic and experimental pragmatics

Language & Computation

Recent developments in cognitive science have led pragmatics to a new period of maturation, facilitated by two important factors: a) the novel application of mathematical modeling techniques, and b) access to rich experimental data. Advances in probabilistic and game-theoretic models that treat pragmatic inference as a problem of social reasoning under uncertainty have yielded testable quantitative predictions about the outcome of many different kinds of pragmatic inference. The course will introduce students to models of pragmatics that employ probabilistic inference to explain both utterance interpretation and production choices for a variety of phenomena. A focus will be placed on understanding the link between model predictions and experimental predictions for different dependent measures. The basics of fitting experimental data to probabilistic cognitive models will be explained on the basis of case studies of increasing complexity from the recent literature.

First week
09:00 - 10:30 - slot 1