Philosophical Trials

Kai von Fintel on Language, Semantics and Possible Worlds | Episode 5

June 16, 2020 Tedy Nenu Episode 5
Philosophical Trials
Kai von Fintel on Language, Semantics and Possible Worlds | Episode 5
Chapters
Philosophical Trials
Kai von Fintel on Language, Semantics and Possible Worlds | Episode 5
Jun 16, 2020 Episode 5
Tedy Nenu

Professor Kai von Fintel is a world-leading linguist (Section Head at MIT) who is well known for his contributions to Semantics, an academic fields which sits at the intersection of many disciplines which is typically concerned with the meaning of linguistic expressions. He is the co-founder of the open access journal Semantics & Pragmatics. You can find more about his work on his website: https://www.kaivonfintel.org 

Conversation Outline: 

00:00 Introduction
00:18 What is special about language? 
03:31 How did we (as a species) get linguistic abilities?
05:24 What do people who work in Semantics do? 
09:19 How can babies pick up language? 
15:07 What is the meaning of words? Aren’t they just dictionary entries? 
19:03 On idiolects 
27:00 The meanings of sentences
33:43 What are possible worlds? Are they the same as the many-worlds of quantum theory? 
39:52 Differences between ‘school’ grammar, syntax and formal logic
49:07 What is the meaning of ‘if’? 
01:04:54 Does the research of Semanticists impact the field of Computational Linguistics?
01:07:39 The relationship between thought and language

Twitter: 
https://twitter.com/tedynenu

Apple Podcasts:
https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/philosophical-trials/id1513707135

Spotify: 
https://open.spotify.com/show/3Sz88leU8tmeKe3MAZ9i10

Google Podcasts:
https://podcasts.google.com/?q=philosophical%20trials

Instagram: 
https://www.instagram.com/tedynenu/

Show Notes

Professor Kai von Fintel is a world-leading linguist (Section Head at MIT) who is well known for his contributions to Semantics, an academic fields which sits at the intersection of many disciplines which is typically concerned with the meaning of linguistic expressions. He is the co-founder of the open access journal Semantics & Pragmatics. You can find more about his work on his website: https://www.kaivonfintel.org 

Conversation Outline: 

00:00 Introduction
00:18 What is special about language? 
03:31 How did we (as a species) get linguistic abilities?
05:24 What do people who work in Semantics do? 
09:19 How can babies pick up language? 
15:07 What is the meaning of words? Aren’t they just dictionary entries? 
19:03 On idiolects 
27:00 The meanings of sentences
33:43 What are possible worlds? Are they the same as the many-worlds of quantum theory? 
39:52 Differences between ‘school’ grammar, syntax and formal logic
49:07 What is the meaning of ‘if’? 
01:04:54 Does the research of Semanticists impact the field of Computational Linguistics?
01:07:39 The relationship between thought and language

Twitter: 
https://twitter.com/tedynenu

Apple Podcasts:
https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/philosophical-trials/id1513707135

Spotify: 
https://open.spotify.com/show/3Sz88leU8tmeKe3MAZ9i10

Google Podcasts:
https://podcasts.google.com/?q=philosophical%20trials

Instagram: 
https://www.instagram.com/tedynenu/