Matthijs Westera


Conversation is a complex cognitive behaviour central to human existence. I investigate how this works, at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation of the University of Amsterdam.

My dissertation presents a unified, explanatory theory of exhaustivity and intonational meaning, centered on the role of attention in discourse. It attacks several long-standing assumptions in the field.

My experimental and corpus work on modified numerals (joint work with A. Brasoveanu) uses corpus data to predict how interpreters will deal with contextual underspecification in experimental pragmatics.

Recent/upcoming talks

March 3rd, 2017
Explaining at-issueness contrasts between questions and assertions, Theoretical and Experimental Approaches to Presuppositions, Genoa (slides; abstract)
March 9, 2017
Rise-fall-rise intonation and secondary QUDs, DGFS AG3: Secondary information and linguistic encoding, Saarbrücken (slides)
March 10, 2017
How the symmetry problem solves the symmetry problem, DGFS AG2: Information structuring in discourse, Saarbrücken (slides; abstract; programme version)
March 14, 2017
A unifying understanding of RFR, topics and non-at-issue meaning, GLOW workshop 2: Compositionality at the interfaces, Leiden (slides; abstract)


Email: [MyFirstName].[MySurName]