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LECTURE | Nina Haket (Cambridge)
LECTURE | Nina Haket (Cambridge)

Thu, 16 May


Online Lecture

LECTURE | Nina Haket (Cambridge)

Nina Haket is a PhD student in the department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics under the supervision of Dr Jaszczolt.


16 May 2024, 16:00 – 17:30 CEST

Online Lecture



Intra and inter-word variation in conceptual engineering


Words are not all alike, neither in their meaning nor their behaviour. This is sometimes overlooked in the overarching frameworks created by theorists for Conceptual Engineering (CE). Here, I aim to look at both inter-word and intra-word variation and start building a flexible and individualistic meta-account of CE. I start by examining inter-word variation on the level of their semantics by creating a hierarchy of word types, takingSawyer's (2021) framework as a starting point, and argue that different kinds of words should lead to very different CE projects with varying goals, methods, and implementation tools. I then move on to intra-word variation and use techniques from distributional semantics, namely BERT word embeddings generated on chunks of real conversation, to show that even a single word can vary drastically in its meaning from context to context due to contextual modulation(see e.g. Recanati, 2010). I use this to argue that considering word meaning to be a fixed, static entity is detrimental to CE efforts and that we need to start considering (word) meaning as flexible, cooperative, and dynamic by looking at larger units than the word level.

Zoom Access

Meeting ID: 951 3970 1592

Passcode: CEN24


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