February 7: Choonkyu Lee (Utrecht University) – UiL OTS

We are happy to announce that on Thursday, February 7, Choonkyu Lee (UiL OTS, Utrecht University) will give a LUSH talk in Utrecht entitled Commonsense knowledge at the interface between lexical and compositional semantics. We hope to see you all there!

Date: Thursday, February 7, 2013

Time: 15:00 – 17:00

Location: Utrecht, Trans 8, room 0.19 (A.W. de Grootkamer)

The composition of concepts and/or word meanings into more complex units has been discussed from various perspectives – in theoretical work (e.g., Barsalou’s frame theory, 1992; Kamp & Partee’s supervaluation account, 1995; Gärdenfors’ Conceptual Spaces, 2000; Pietroski’s minimal polyadicity, in preparation), plausibility rating and categorization experiments (Connolly et al., 2007; Hampton, 1996), probabilistic modeling (Piantadosi, Tenenbaum, & Goodman, 2010), and neuroimaging (Bemis & Pylkkänen, 2011). One major issue in concept combination is the “non-logical reasoning” (Hampton & Jönsson, 2012) evident in categorization judgments that demonstrate ‘overextension’ of conjuncts: For a given image of a bluish shape resembling an A, people sometimes say No to ‘Is this an A?’ and No to ‘Is this blue?’ but Yes to ‘Is this a blue A?’ thus violating Boolean logic (Hampton, 1996). Another major issue is pervasive context dependence having to do with commonsense knowledge: The shade of blue in blue sky is not the same as that in blue eyes.

In order to investigate the role of world knowledge in concept composition, we have taken color as the test category, as top-down influences have been found in color labeling and color comparison tasks (Mitterer et al., 2009; Hansen et al., 2006). Specifically, we contrast categories with a reliable color typicality bias (e.g., banana) with those without one (e.g., shirt/square) to test whether categorization judgments reveal different patterns of overextension.


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