Daniel Lassiter
Assistant Professor of Linguistics, Stanford University
Research areas:
 Theoretical, experimental, and computational semantics and pragmatics
 Probability and decision theory in formal linguistics
 Computational cognitive science
 Philosophy of language
Contact: danlassiter [at sign] stanford [dot] edu
Research overview
My research focuses on theories of meaning and reasoning, and their role in communication. I use logical, computational, and experimental methods to bring together the insights of linguistic semantics & pragmatics with philosophical and psychological work on reasoning and decision making. Much of my work has focused the use of probabilistic models to illuminate linguistic phenomena such as vagueness, presupposition, implicature, and the lexical semantics of modals and conditionals.
Tools
Writing
Now published!

Order through OUP here.
Chapters:
 Gradation, scales, and degree semantics
 Measurement theory and the typology of scales
 Previous Work on Graded Modality: Lewis and Kratzer
 Epistemic Adjectives: Likely and Probable
 Certainty and possibility
 Implications for the epistemic auxiliaries
 Scalar goodness
 Ought and should
(You can also find a prefinal draft here.)

Recent
An experimental look at the negative implications of exceptives
To appear in
Proceedings of NELS 47.
Complex sentential operators refute Simplification of Disjunctive Antecedents
Under review.
Talking about (quasi)higherorder uncertainty
To appear in a Festschrift for Lauri Karttunen.
Graded modality
Draft of a survey article.
2017
Graded Modality: Qualitative and Quantitative Perspectives. Oxford University Press.
[See above for details]
Complex antecedents and probabilities in causal counterfactuals
Proceedings of the 21st Amsterdam Colloquium.
Probabilistic language in indicative and counterfactual conditionals
Semantics and Linguistic Theory 27.
Bayes nets and the dynamics of probabilistic language
Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21.
Review of Y. Winter, Elements of Formal Semantics
Journal of Linguistics.
[Official version]
2016
Must, knowledge, and (in)directness
Natural Language Semantics. [
Preprint] [
Data and analysis code]
Linguistic and philosophical considerations on Bayesian semantics
In M. Chrisman & N. Charlow (eds.),
Deontic Modals, OUP.
A rational speechact model of projective content
Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. [with C. Qing and N. Goodman]
2015
Embedded implicatures as pragmatic inferences under compositional lexical uncertainty (w/
C.Potts,
R.Levy, and
M.Frank)
Journal of Semantics. [
Preprint] [
experiment, data, and model code]
Adjectival vagueness in a Bayesian model of interpretation (w/
N.Goodman)
Synthese. [
Journal version]
How many kinds of reasoning? Inference, probability, and natural language semantics (w/
N.Goodman)
Cognition. [
Preprint] [
Data, etc.]
Probabilistic Semantics and Pragmatics: Uncertainty in Language and Thought (w/
N.Goodman)
Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory — 2nd edition, ed. C. Fox & S. Lappin. [
Link to book website]
Unless: An experimental approach (w/
Prerna Nadathur)
Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 2014.
Adjectival modification and gradation
Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory — 2nd edition, ed. C. Fox & S. Lappin. [
Link to book website]
2014
The weakness of must: In defense of a Mantra
Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 24.
[Superseded by "
Must, knowledge, and (in)directness".]
Modality, scale structure, and scalar reasoning
Pacific Philosophical Quarterly. [
Preprint]
Epistemic comparison, models of uncertainty, and the disjunction puzzle
Journal of Semantics.
2013
Context, scale structure, and statistics in the interpretation of positiveform adjectives
Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 23. (w/
N.Goodman)
Conditional antecedents provide no evidence for a grammatical theory of scalar implicature
Draft, 11/19/13. Comments welcome.
2012
Presuppositions, provisos, and probability
Semantics & Pragmatics 5(2):
137.
Quantificational
and modal interveners in degree constructions
Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 22.
Communicating
with epistemic modals in stochastic λcalculus
Draft, w/
N.Goodman. Comments
welcome.
How many kinds of reasoning? Inference, probability, and natural language semantics
Proceedings of the 34th Annual
Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. (w/
N.Goodman)
2011
Measurement and Modality: The Scalar Basis of Modal Semantics
Ph.D. dissertation, NYU Linguistics, 2011
(supervisor:
Chris
Barker).
Nouwen's puzzle and a scalar semantics for obligations, needs, and desires
Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT)
21.
Vagueness as probabilistic linguistic knowledge
In R. Nouwen et al. (eds.),
Vagueness in Communication.
Anaphoric properties of which and the syntax of appositive relatives
NYU Working Papers in Linguistics.
2010
Gradable epistemic modals, probability, and scale structure
Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT)
20, 2010.
The
Algebraic Structure of Amounts: Evidence from Comparatives
In T. Icard & R. Muskens (eds.),
Interfaces: Explorations in Logic, Language, and
Computation.
Where is the Conflict between Internalism and Externalism? A Reply to Lohndal and Narita
Biolinguistics 4(3): 138148.
Explaining a restriction on the scope of the comparative operator
Penn Working Papers in Linguistics.
Semantic Normativity and Coordination Games: Social Externalism Deflated
Croatian Journal of Philosophy 10(10): 3756.
2009
Symmetric Presupposition Satisfaction is MidSentence Presupposition Correction
Presented at the ESSLLI workshop
New Directions in the Theory of Presupposition organized by N. Klinedinst & D. Rothschild.
2008
Semantic
Externalism, Language Variation, and Sociolinguistic
Accommodation (2008)
Mind and Language. [
PDF]
Edited volume: Daniel Lassiter and Marija Slavkovik (eds).
New Directions in Logic, Language, & Computation. Lecture Notes in Computer Science vol.
7415. Springer, 2012 (250pp).