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Semantics, Pragmatics & Philosophy Research Area

Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics


Semantics, Pragmatics & Philosophy (SPP) Group Members


Carlos d'Aragona Balhana

e-mail | Carlos is a PhD candidate in the Theoretical and Applied Linguistics Section of MMLL. His research explores how lexical semantics, event decomposition, and temporal structure condition morphosyntactic errors in tense and aspect marking during L2 acquisition. While these features and interactions are modeled within a generative theoretical framework, his analysis relies on large sets of corpus data and natural language processing (NLP) methods for empirical support.

Mireia Cabanes-Calabuig

e-mail | Mireia is a PhD student in the Theoretical and Applied Linguistics Section of MMLL. Her research focuses on the semantics and pragmatics of expressive language.

Xiaoxuan Chen

e-mail | Xiaoxuan is a PhD student in the Theoretical and Applied Linguistics Section of MMLL. She is interested in pragmatics, semantics and the philosophy of language, especially propositional attitude reports and figurative language. Her current research focuses on belief reports that include metaphors.

Professor Kasia M. Jaszczolt 

e-mail | Kasia is Professor of Linguistics and Philosophy of Language at the Theoretical and Applied Linguistics Section of MMLL and Professorial Fellow of Newnham College. She published extensively on various topics in semantics, pragmatics and philosophy of language, including propositional attitude ascription, representation of time, semantics/pragmatics interface, and her theory of Default Semantics.

Dr Napoleon Katsos

e-mail |Napoleon is Reader in Experimental Pragmatics in the Theoretical and Applied Linguistics Section of MMLL. He is interested in how research in experimental psychology can inform theoretical linguistic inquiry and vice versa. His particular focus in linguistics is semantics and pragmatics, especially implicature, presupposition, quantification and (in)directness.

Sadiyah Shahidullah

e-mail | Sadiyah is a PhD student in the Theoretical and Applied Linguistics Section of MMLL. She is interested in cross-cultural metapragmatics and how that can inform contemporary pragmatic theorization. Her current research concerns how theoretical, metatheoretical, and empirical insights from the history of the Arabic linguistics tradition (particularly from the works of Sībawayhi (d. 796), al-Jurjānī (d. 1078), and Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328)) - along with insights from Arabic discourse - can contribute to and further post-Gricean theories of communication.

Dr Roberto Sileo

e-mail | Roberto is an affiliated lecturer at the University of Cambridge and holds a PhD in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics (Cantab). As a member of the Prague and Cambridge Primus Group, Roberto is currently a research associate on the ‘Core Syntax in Bilingual Children’ project. Roberto’s past research focused on the use and interpretation of descriptive and expressive language and he was also the research associate on Prof. Kasia Jaszczolt’s ‘Rethinking Being Gricean: New Challenges for Metapragmatics’, a project funded by a Cambridge Humanities Research Grant.

Tom R. Williamson

e-mail | Tom is a linguist and philosopher studying for an MPhil in Linguistics at Girton College, Cambridge. His research interests exist at the boundaries of language and mind, with his current attentions directed towards problems concerning meaning and concepts. Methodologically, his interests lie in probing philosophical puzzles (relating to language particularly) with experimental or cross-disciplinary approaches. He completed his undergraduate degree in Linguistics and Philosophy at Lancaster University, where his research focused on semiotics, psycholinguistics, pragmatics, corpora, and the philosophies of language and mind.


External members

Chi-Hé Elder  

e-mail | Chi-Hé is a Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of East Anglia. She completed her PhD at Cambridge on the semantics and pragmatics of natural language conditionals, and is currently working on the role of misunderstandings and the nature of pragmatic inference in meaning theorisation.

Eleni Kapogianni

e-mail | Eleni is a Lecturer in Linguistics and the Director of the Centre for Language and Linguistics at the University of Kent. She received her PhD from Cambridge on the definition and typology of verbal irony with respect to the literal-nonliteral distinction. Her main research lies in the areas of pragmatics, discourse analysis, and their various interfaces. She is particularly interested in nonliteral language in discourse, especially verbal irony, parody/satire, and humour.

Bing Xue

e-mail | Bing is currently a lecturer working in Dalian University of Foreign Languages (China). His research interest mainly lies in the area of syntax-semantics-pragmatics interface, post-Gricean pragmatics and Construction Grammar. One of his current projects which is sponsored by China National Social Science Fund, focuses on the issue of 'embedded implicature', from the perspective of grammar-pragmatics interaction. Another major strand of his research is an attempt to integrate post-Gricean pragmatics and Construction Grammar into a model which might be called 'inferential-constructional pragmatics'.

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Join us for a workshop to explore how data science might build on the rapid expansion of online learning platforms in UK schools to improve the language development and writing skills of students in the humanities and languages in the UK state school sector.

Professor Kasia Jaszczolt’s new book

23 March 2023

Professor Kasia Jaszczolt’s new book Semantics, Pragmatics, Philosophy: A Journey Through Meaning is available from Cambridge University Press from March 2023

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