The dynamic, inquisitive, and visionary life of ϕ, ?ϕ, and ◇ϕ: A festschrift for Jeroen Groenendijk, Martin Stokhof, and Frank Veltman
  • Maria Aloni, Michael Franke, and Floris Roelofsen

    Dear Jeroen, Martin and Frank,

    We are delighted to present this collection of essays to you, written by many friends and colleagues of yours. We hope that they will take you on a joyful ride through the history of our field, in which you played such a vital role, and that they will also offer some inspiring thoughts and new perspectives on topics that you are currently working on.

  • Bibliographical details and instructions to order a hardcopy

    Title: The dynamic, inquisitive, and visionary life of ϕ, ?ϕ, and ◊ϕ
    Subtitle: A festschrift for Jeroen Groenendijk, Martin Stokhof, and Frank Veltman
    Editors: Maria Aloni, Michael Franke, and Floris Roelofsen
    Cover photos: Steve Pyke
    Year of publication: 2013
    Hardcopies can be ordered here.

  • Pictures and videos of the Festschrift presentation

    The Festschrift was presented to Jeroen, Martin, and Frank on December 18, 2013, the first day of the 19th Amsterdam Colloquium. Below are some pictures of the event, as well as two videos (the first two thumbnails). The pictures were taken by Nadine Theiler, and the videos were made by Thomas Jongstra.

    P1040514 P1040514 P1040298 IMG_6756 IMG_6757 IMG_6760 IMG_6762 IMG_6769 IMG_6771 IMG_6773 IMG_6778 IMG_6779 IMG_6784 IMG_6790 IMG_6794 IMG_6805 IMG_6810 IMG_6811 IMG_6814 P1040309 P1040312 P1040314 IMG_6819 IMG_6820 IMG_6822 P1040318 IMG_6835 IMG_6837 IMG_6839 P1040323 IMG_6754 IMG_6755 P1040326 P1040327 P1040330 IMG_6841 IMG_6842 IMG_6845 P1040335 P1040345 P1040353 P1040358 P1040359 P1040361 P1040363 P1040366 P1040376 P1040377 P1040380 P1040382 P1040388 P1040395 P1040399 P1040403 P1040404 P1040406 P1040409 P1040410 P1040412 P1040413 P1040420 P1040435 P1040438 P1040439 P1040441 P1040442 P1040449 P1040454 P1040459 P1040460 P1040461 P1040462 P1040471 P1040472 P1040473 P1040476 P1040477 P1040480 P1040486 P1040493 P1040494 P1040497 P1040509 P1040514
  • Maria Aloni and Ivano Ciardelli
    A logical account of free choice imperatives

    Since Ross’s observation that the instruction Post this letter does not entail Post this letter or burn it, imperatives have constituted a challenge for the logician. Building on ideas from inquisitive semantics, we propose an account in which imperatives are regarded as partial specifications of a set of options. We show that this account avoids Ross’s paradox and gives rise to a sensible notion of imperative entailment.

  • Johan van Benthem
    Suave Radicals

    We engage in some light looking back on the work of Groenendijk, Stokhof and Veltman, raising a few thoughts about the intellectual trajectory of our shared home, the ILLC.

  • Maria Bittner
    Tense, Mood, and Centering

    I propose that tense and mood paradigms are grammatical centering systems. Specifically, English tenses form a temporal centering system, which monitors and updates topic times, whereas Kalaallisut moods form a modal centering system, which monitors and updates modal discourse referents. Nevertheless, English and Kalaallisut translation equivalents converge on the same truth conditions, due to the ‘commonplace effect’ of speech acts (see (Stalnaker, 1978)).

  • Reinhard Blutner and Peter beim Graben
    Dynamic Semantics and the Geometry of Meaning

  • Adrian Brasoveanu and Anna Szabolcsi
    Presuppositional Too, Postsuppositional Too

    One of the insights of dynamic semantics in its various guises (Kamp 1981, Heim 1982, Groenendijk & Stokhof 1991, Kamp & Reyle 1993 among many others) is that interpretation is sensitive to left-to-right order. Is order sensitivity, particularly the default left-to-right order of evaluation, a property of particular meanings of certain lexical items (e.g., dynamically interpreted conjunction) or is it a more general feature of meaning composition? If it is a more general feature of meaning composition, is it a processing ‘preference’ or should it be captured as a ‘harder’ constraint on the type of meanings and operations over meanings involved in natural language interpretation? This squib draws attention to the symmetrical A-too B-too construction (found in a variety of languages, e.g., Hungarian, Japanese, Romanian, Russian) in this context. It argues that any semantic analysis of its main ‘symmetrical-meaning’ characteristic should also allow for subtler interactions between this construction and items that are clearly sensitive to evaluation-order effects, e.g., anaphoric adjectives like next and other. We suggest that the notion of postsupposition embedded in a broader dynamic framework is better able to account for both the symmetric nature of this construction, its non-symmetric variant A-too, and its interaction with items that are evaluation-order sensitive. We briefly compare this proposal with a couple of possible alternative accounts.

  • Boudewijn de Bruin
    The Assignment

  • Seth Cable
    A letter to Jeroen, Martin, and Frank

  • Balder ten Cate
    Question entailment: a puzzle

    One of the things I have enjoyed tremendously ever since my my first days a PhD student under supervision of Jeroen Groenendijk and Paul Dekker, is the impressive cross-fertilization between logic, linguistics, and computer science that permeates the work of many researchers at the ILLC, and, in in particular, is palpable in many of the influential publications of Jeroen Groenendijk, Martin Stokhof, and Frank Veltman. In this note, as a tribute to Jeroen, Martin and Frank, and as a small contribution to this cross-fertilization, I will discuss a puzzle regarding question entailment, taken from recent literature in database theory (it will not come as a surprise that questions, answerhood conditions, and question entailment play an important role in database theory, too).

  • Kees van Deemter
    Close Encounters With The Holy Trinity

  • Paul Egre
    What's in a planet?

    This Festschrift piece is the occasion to put forth some reflections on lexical meaning and on the internalism-externalism debate. I discuss, based on some of Frank Veltman’s considerations about the pragmatic meaning of vague terms, the dynamic view whereby speaker and hearer jointly elaborate the meaning of general terms in the course of their transactions, and the question of whether general terms have a core meaning.

  • Peter van Emde Boas
    Rangnarok – een duik in het fotoarchief bij het vertrek van Martin, Jeroen en Frank

    Het officiele afscheid van een collega is telkens een goede gelegenheid het grote fotoarchief te bezoeken op zoek naar sporen van deze collega en diens omgeving. Tegenwoordig meent men echter, ongetwijfeld omwille van de efficientie, dit soort evenementen te moeten bundelen. Drie collega's die tegelijkertijd, zij het op wisselende wijze, vertrekken. Waarmee zij tegelijkertijd duidelijk een eindmarkering plaatsen voor de actieve bemoeienis van de generatie van onze oprichters met ons ILLC. Ik kan hier maar een duiding aan geven: Godenschemering, Rangnarok, het einde van de wereld. Ik vrees dan ook dat voor lieden van mijn signatuur in de toekomst nog slechts een bescheiden rol zal zijn te vervullen binnen ons instituut: die van Waldorf en Stattler bij de muppets.

  • Tim Fernando
    Partitions representing change homogeneously

  • Michael Franke
    An adaptationist criterion for signal meaning

    To think that use constitutes meaning is an appealing idea, but also notoriously difficult to make precise. After reflecting on the notion of use-constituted meaning that signaling theory, in the vein of Lewis (1969) and Skyrms (2010), gives us, I suggest a notion of signal meaning that draws on adaptationist theories of biological communication. Such a criterion has interesting consequences, such as that just because language use is vague does not necessarily entail that language is vague.

  • Bart Geurts
    A plea for covert operations

  • Bart Geurts and Jaap van der Does
    Unary quantification redux

  • Anastasia Giannakidou
    Inquisitive assertions and nonveridicality

    In this brief note, I discuss how basic is, in natural language, the distinction between an assertion and a question. The question is currently debated within inquisitive semantics and in addressing it, I look at sentences with modal verbs, questions, and disjunctions. These seem to form a natural class in terms of conveying epistemic states that allow p and not p, they are therefore nonveridical. Given that allowing p and not p is also the hallmark of inquisitive sentences (questions), we can think of nonveridical assertions as ’inquisitive assertions’. So, if we take (non)veridicality into consideration, the distinction between assertion and question is not categorical: assertions do not form a natural class, and nonveridical assertions pattern epistemically with questions. This means that the division of labor between informativity and inquisitiveness cannot be categorical either. These conclusions support the original tenet of inquisitive semantics that meaning is semantically non-dichotomous. I also include discussion of the difference between questions on the one hand, and universal modal assertions on the other. I argue that the former convey a true nonveridical equilibrium between p and not p, whereas universal modal assertions have bias towards p. This bias creates partial informativity in universal modal assertions— and when present, in questions.

  • Theo M.V. Janssen
    Applications of IF-logic

  • Dick de Jongh
    Real and Fake Past

    This little piece is divided into two parts, first some memories concerning Frank, Jeroen and Martin, and secondly an attempt to start a discussion about a linguistic puzzle: the fake past. Since my time with the three of them was so Dutch I decided to relate the first part in that language.

  • Hans Kamp
    For Jeroen Groenendijk, Martin Stokhof, and Frank Veltman

  • Michiel van Lambalgen
    Time in the Critique of Pure Reason

    This note is dedicated to Frank, Jeroen and Martin, whose intense engagement with semantics first opened my eyes to the beauty of a topic that combines formal precision with philosophical reflection and cognitive experimentation. In particular the problem of the cognitive import of formal semantic representations has been the subject of countless discussions, especially with Martin. Tense and aspect seemed a promising area in which to look for semantic representations with cognitive import. The present essay investigates how to reconcile a cognitive desideratum, finiteness, with the expressive richness required by tense and aspect: completeness and incompleteness of events, granularity, continuous vs. discrete change etc. Because Kant had considered several of these issues in the Critique of Pure Reason, this essay approaches the issues just mentioned bt describing a model that satisfies Kant's synthetic a priori principles for time. For those unmoved by Kantian considerations, it suffices to take a brief look at the principles listed below, after which the technical development should make sense.

  • Fred Landman
    Countable, Neat and Messy Nouns

    This paper is a translation of a talk I gave in Dutch at the Tiende bijeenkomst van docenten Neerlandistiek in het Middellandse Zeegebied in Tel Aviv in November of 2010. The Dutch version appeared as Landman 2013. An earlier version of the material in this talk was first presented at Palmyr IX: Logic and the Use of Language in June 2010 at ILLC in Amsterdam, where I was invited by Frank Veltman and his co-organizers to give a presentation.
    My teachers Renate Bartsch, Jeroen Groenendijk, Martin Stokhof and Frank Veltman provided me with a thorough training in the handcraft of using formal techniques in the study of natural language semantics. Nevertheless, during my apprentice time with them, we would often contemplate as an aesthetic ideal   the   model   of   Frege's   little   papers:     accomplished, formally complex papers without any formal details. The present paper is an attempt in that direction. I dedicate it to them: to Renate on her retirement a few years ago, and to Jeroen, Martin and Frank on their forthcoming retirements, with pride at having been their student.

  • Jaap Maat
    Semantical Investigations

  • Mathias Winther Madsen
    The Ideology of Linguistics: Frequently Asked Questions


  • Reinhard Muskens
    Data Semantics and Linguistic Semantics

  • Barbara H. Partee
    The Amsterdam Three and their Part in a Glorious History

  • Floris Roelofsen
    A bare bone attentive semantics for might

    This paper introduces a semantic framework in which the meaning of a sentence embodies both its informative and its attentive content. This framework allows for an improved implementation of the analysis of might proposed in Ciardelli, Groenendijk, and Roelofsen (2009), which in turn builds on an idea from Groenendijk, Stokhof, and Veltman (1996). The analysis sheds new light on the way in which might interacts with conjunction, disjunction, and negation, which is puzzling for the standard modal account of might, as well as its treatment in update semantics.

  • Robert van Rooij
    Vagueness: insights from Martin, Jeroen, and Frank

  • Remco Scha
    Collections and Paradox

  • Harry P. Stein
    The Logical Impossibility of Heaven and Hell as Instruments for Moral Reward and Punishment

  • Henriette de Swart
    Aspectual sensitivity of already

  • Allard Tamminga
    Some impressions of Frank Veltman

  • Richmond H. Thomason
    Interrogative Semantics in Perspective

    Taking as its departure Groenendijk and Stokhof’s work on questions in their Ph.D. dissertation and in a 1982 Linguistics and Philosophy article, this note reexamines the question of what semantic type to assign to interrogative constructions.

  • Richmond H. Thomason
    Frank Veltman’s Logics for Conditionals Revisited

    Going back to Frank Veltman’s dissertation, this note contrasts that approach to conditionals with one that starts with causality and separates epistemology from the interpretation of conditionals.

  • Henk Verkuyl
    Propositional attitudes, stereotyping and the mental lexicon

  • Albert Visser
    Updates that Grow on Trees

    In this paper we solve the following problem: what is to Update Semantics as Discourse Representation Theory is to Dynamic Predicate Logic?

  • Yanjing Wang
    A note on equivalence of two semantics for epistemic logic of shallow depths

    This short note establishes the equivalence of the indexed semantics of Wang (2006) and the epistemic world semantics of Kaneko and Suzuki (2003) for epistemic logic of bounded depths.

  • Galit Weidman Sassoon
    Between-noun comparisons

    Adjectives are typically felicitous in within-predicate comparisons—constructions of the form ‘X  is  more  A  than  y’, as in This is bigger than that, but are often infelicitous in between-predicate comparisons—constructions  of  the  form  ‘X  is  more  A  than  (y  is)  B’,  as  in  *Tweety is bigger than (it is) heavy. Nouns, by contrast, exhibit the inverse pattern. The challenge is to account for their felicity in between-predicate comparisons, as, for instance, in This bird is more a duck than a goose, while capturing their infelicity in within-predicate comparisons, as in #This bird is more (of) a duck than that one. Postulating either semantic gradability, or even only ad-hoc, meta-linguistic gradable interpretations for nouns to capture the meaning of between-noun comparisons results in wrong predictions for within-noun comparisons and other gradable constructions (#very duck; too duck). The paper presents a solution to this problem, using the psychological notion of a contrast-set. The solution correctly predicts inference patterns and truth value judgments pertaining to between-noun constructions.

  • Matthijs Westera
    Where the air is thin, but the view so much clearer

    Thirty years after Groenendijk and Stokhof’s (1984) dissertation, the exhaustive interpretation of answers is still one of the central topics in semantics and pragmatics. Groenendijk and Stokhof identified three main problems for a pragmatic account of exhaustivity, which to this date remain largely open. In the present paper I show how these can be resolved by adopting a richer notion of meaning, and taking into account its pragmatic thrust. The resulting theory may be the only one to this date that explains exhaustivity, from start to end, as a genuine case of Gricean conversational implicature.

  • Tine Wilde

  • Yoad Winter
    Personal notes on the retirement of Groenendijk, Stokhof, Veltman, Janssen and Scha

  • Henk Zeevat
    Implicit Probabilities in Update Semantics