LAGB 2007

Last week I was at the LAGB conference at King’s College, London, where I heard some very interesting papers and discussions. My paper was called ‘Empirical semantics: the case of “or”‘. In this, I used two separate accounts of ‘or’ from the 1960s, Grice’s famous treatment of generalised conversational implicatures in his lectures on ‘Logic and Conversation’, and an empirical study by Arne Naess, as a way of comparing the assumptions and methodologies of ordinary language philosophy with those of Naess’s empirical semantics. Linguists are becoming increasingly interested in questions of methodology and of data and, as I argued in my paper, some of the things being said in present-day linguistics are remarkably similar to the views expressed in Naess’s little-known philosophy of language.