Daniel Lassiter

Assistant Professor of Linguistics, Stanford University

Research areas:

Contact: danlassiter [at sign] stanford [dot] edu

Fall 2014 office hours: Tuesday, 3:45-5, MJH 102

Research overview

My research combines formal tools and experimental methods from linguistics and other areas of cognitive science to work toward a unified theory of language understanding as a cognitive phenomenon. I've worked on a variety of topics such as the semantics of modals and degree expressions, the pragmatics of vagueness and presupposition, inductive vs. deductive reasoning, and models of various pragmatic phenomena which treat language understanding as a problem of Bayesian inference. I've argued in various domains that combining logical and probabilistic models not only achieves a desirable theoretical unification but also improved empirical coverage and new theoretical insights.





How many kinds of reasoning? Inference, probability, and natural language semantics (w/Noah Goodman)
   Cognition, 2014. [journal version, free access till 1 Feb. 2015]
Graded modality
   Draft of a survey article, 10/3/14.
Adjectival vagueness in a Bayesian model of interpretation (w/Noah Goodman)
   Under review.
Linguistic and philosophical considerations on Bayesian semantics
   To appear in M. Chrisman & N. Charlow (eds.), Deontic Modals, OUP.
Modality, scale structure, and scalar reasoning
   Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, in press.
Epistemic comparison, models of uncertainty, and the disjunction puzzle
   Journal of Semantics, 2014.
Probabilistic Semantics and Pragmatics: Uncertainty in Language and Thought (w/Noah Goodman)
   In press, Handbook of Contemporary Semantics — 2nd edition, ed. C. Fox & S. Lappin.
Adjectival modification and gradation
   In press, Handbook of Contemporary Semantics — 2nd edition, ed. C. Fox & S. Lappin.
Context, scale structure, and statistics in the interpretation of positive-form adjectives
   Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 23, 2013. (w/Noah Goodman)
Conditional antecedents provide no evidence for a grammatical theory of scalar implicature (2013)
   Draft, 11/19/13. Comments welcome.
Communicating with epistemic modals in stochastic λ-calculus (2012)
   (Draft, with Noah Goodman. Comments welcome.)
How many kinds of reasoning? Inference, probability, and natural language semantics (2012)
   Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. (with Noah Goodman)
Presuppositions, provisos, and probability (2012)
   Semantics & Pragmatics 5(2): 1-37.
Quantificational and modal interveners in degree constructions (2012)
   Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 22.
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 (2011)
   Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 21.
Vagueness as probabilistic linguistic knowledge (2011)
    In R. Nouwen et al. (eds.), Vagueness in Communication, Springer, 2011.
Gradable epistemic modals, probability, and scale structure (2010)
   Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 20, 2010.
The Algebraic Structure of Amounts: Evidence from Comparatives (2010)
    In T. Icard & R. Muskens (eds.), Interfaces: Explorations in Logic, Language, and Computation. Dordrecht: Springer. 38-56.
Semantic Normativity and Coordination Games: Social Externalism Deflated (2010)
    Croatian Journal of Philosophy 10(10): 37-56.
Where is the Conflict between Internalism and Externalism? A Reply to Lohndal and Narita (2010)
    Biolinguistics 4(3): 138-148.
Explaining a Restriction on the Scope of the Comparative Operator (2009)
    University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 16(1): 117-126.
Symmetric Presupposition Satisfaction is Mid-Sentence Presupposition Correction (2009)
    In N. Klinedinst & D. Rothschild (eds.), Proceedings of New Directions in the Theory of Presupposition.
Semantic Externalism, Language Variation, and Sociolinguistic Accommodation (2008)
    Mind and Language 23(5): 607-633.

Edited volume: Daniel Lassiter and Marija Slavkovik (eds). New Directions in Logic, Language, & Computation. Lecture Notes in Computer Science vol. 7415. Springer, 2012 (250pp).