Language Games, Signaling Games, and Interpretation

Project: Dissertation

Layman's description

The aim of this project is to provide a game-theoretic framework for the concept of interpretation in linguistic interaction.

The aim of this thesis is to provide a proper framework for the concept of interpretation in linguistic interaction, from a conceptual (rather than empirical) perspective. The starting point is the challenge put by Donald Davidson to the traditional conception of language as conventional, famously defended by David Lewis. According to Davidson, linguistic competence and performance involves constant adjustment of interpretation, rather than skilled application of learned conventions. My aim is to show that Davidson's challenge can be met by providing a game-theoretic analysis of adjustment of interpretation. This framework would preserve most of Lewis' insights, namely that conventions arise as equilibria in communication games.
Effective start/end date2011/09/012015/12/31