We are happy to announce a talk by Robert van Rooij (Amsterdam) at the Semantics Colloquium. Please find the abstract below.
Please register beforehand (firstname.lastname@example.org) to receive the access data (to zoom) on thursday at 4pm (= immediately before the colloquium starts).
Title: Conditionals, Generics and Causality
Date: July 9th
Time: 4pm – 6pm
According to Adams (1965), the acceptability of an indicative conditional goes with the conditional probability of the consequent given the antecedent. Lewis (1975) and Kratzer (2012) gave a very similar analysis of all types of conditionals, and frequency adverbs. However, some conditionals seem to be inappropriate, although their corresponding conditional probability is high. These are cases with a missing link between antecedent and consequent (Douven, 2008, Rott, 2019). In this talk I will argue that the missing link should normally be a causal link. Biscuit conditionals, however, show that the link should be thought of in a more general way. Finally, I will argue that causality and interest are in a very similar way also crucial for the analysis of generic sentences. The resulting analysis will be very different from the standard analyses of conditionals and generics (e.g. Kratzer, 2012), but, I claim, more natural, and better.