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Über dieses Buch

This volume contains the key contributions to workshops and meetings that were held within the context of the PRELUDE project. PRELUDE, an acronym for “Towards Theoretical Pragmatics based on Ludics and Continuation Theory”, ran from November 2006 to November 2009, with funding from the new French National Agency for Research (ANR). The objective of the project was to develop perspectives on Natural Language Semantics and Pragmatics based on recent developments in Logic and Theoretical Computer Science; the articles shed light on the role of Ludics in the study of speech acts, inferential semantics, game-theoretical frameworks, interactive situations in the dynamics of language, the representation of commitments and interaction, programming web applications, as well as the impact of Ludics on the fundamental concepts of computability.



Speech Acts in Ludics

In this paper, we attempt to show that recent developments in proof theory, especially with ludics, are relevant for the study and the formalization of speech acts. This logical framework does not deal with truth values but with proofs, and this opens a new way for taking in charge the performative part of linguistic utterances. After having presented two models of speech acts and what theoretical elements we will hold as relevant for our own model, we introduce the ludical point of view by defining a speech acting conceptualization which renders some determinations not presented in the former models. We end by giving some examples of speech acts, presented in their ludical embedding, and we discuss what features the model provides.

Marie-Renée Fleury, Samuel Tronçon

Speech Acts and Ludics: Reacting to Breakdowns of Interaction

The first idea of this paper is that speech acts (orders, promises, excuses) are not simply ways of doing something by the very act of telling what we are doing, or ways of giving a supposed illocutionary strength to language, but ways of repairing breakdowns of interaction (excuses) or preventing anticipated breakdowns (orders, promises, declarations). The second one is that Girards ludics could be a useful tool to represent formally the different kinds of speech acts so conceived.

Pierre Livet

Ludics and Rhetorics

In this paper, we give some illustrations of the expressive power of Ludics with regards to some well known problems often regrouped under the label of Rhetorics. Nevertheless our way of considering Rhetorics encompasses many questions which have been put nowadays in Semantics and Pragmatics.

Alain Lecomte, Myriam Quatrini

Ludics and Web: Another Reading of Standard Operations

The development of the Web lead to new programming languages. They merely come from well-known sequential languages augmented by specific libraries dedicated to web usage. They do not seriously take into account interaction, that is the most important principle in action. Relevant to the dialogue paradigm, we show that a web language may be fully designed in this spirit. We explain in which extent interaction is a central concept in web analysis. For that purpose, we use ludics as a logical framework. Ludics was developed by J.-Y. Girard as a semantics able to rebuild the logics from the notion of interaction. We present then a concrete web language whose type system is derived from ludics.

Christophe Fouqueré

On the Meaning of Focalization

In this paper, we use Girard’s ludics to analyze focalization, a fundamental property of the proof theory of linear logic. In particular, we show how focalization can be realized interactively thanks to suitable section-retraction pairs between semantical types.

Michele Basaldella, Alexis Saurin, Kazushige Terui

On Some Logic Games in Their Philosophical Context

In the present paper Hintikka’s game-theoretical semantics and the dialogical logic of Lorenzen and Lorenz are discussed and compared from the viewpoint of their underlying philosophical meaning theories. The question of whether the proposed meaning theories can be claimed to suffer from circularity is taken up. The relations of the two frameworks to verificationist and anti-realist ideas are considered. Finally, van Heijenoort’s concept of ‘logic as calculus’ generalized by Hintikka to the idea of ‘language as calculus’ will be reformulated as a view we label ‘anti-universalism.’ We discuss briefly the fourfold division of foundational views obtained by relating a distinction between ‘universalism’ and ‘anti-universalism’ to the distinction between ‘realism’ and ‘anti-realism.’

Tero Tulenheimo

Natural-Language Syntax as Procedures for Interpretation: The Dynamics of Ellipsis Construal

In this paper we set out the preliminaries needed for a formal theory of


, relative to a linguistic framework in which natural-language syntax is defined as procedures for context-dependent interpretation. Dynamic Syntax provides a formalism where both representations of content and context are defined dynamically and structurally, with time-linear monotonic growth across sequences of partial trees as the core structure-inducing notion. The primary data involve

elliptical fragments

, as these provide less familiar evidence of the requisite concept of context than anaphora, but equally central. As part of our sketch of the framework, we show how apparent anomalies for a time-linear basis for interpretation can be straightforwardly characterised once we adopt a new perspective on


as the dynamics of transitions between parse-states. We then take this as the basis for providing an integrated account of ellipsis construal. And, as a bonus, we will show how this intrinsically dynamic perspective extends in a seamless way to dialogue exchanges with free shifting of role between speaking and hearing (


). We shall argue that what is required to explain such dialogue phenomena is for contexts, as representations of content, to include not merely partial structures but also the sequence of actions that led to such structures.

Ruth Kempson, Eleni Gregoromichelaki, Wilfried Meyer-Viol, Matthew Purver, Graham White, Ronnie Cann

Relevance and Utility in an Argumentative Framework: An Application to the Accommodation of Discourse Topics

In this paper, we address the question of the exact place one should attribute to game theory in the analysis and modelisation of meaning in natural language. One can think of at least three possible positions with respect to this issue:


Game theory is not inscribed at all in the grammar, but is an effective framework to describe effects of language use (that is, a formal method of dealing with pragmatics)


Every aspect of game theory has grammatical effects, i.e. any kind of pay-off is inscribed in the semantics of linguistic items.


Grammar deals with a specific type of games. If this should be the case, linguists need to identify the relevant subpart of game theory.

We will focus in our paper on positions (1) and (3). A plausible candidate for a linguistic phenomenon that can be successfully modeled by a subset of game-theory is


(cf. Ducrot (1980)). Argumentation concerns aspects of the meaning of sentences (words) that are not reducible to truth conditions. As such, one may ask whether these aspects are properly grammatical (i.e., encoded in the linguistic system), or pertain to the realm of pragmatics (i.e., contextual effects).

Grégoire Winterstein, Gerhard Schaden

The Geometry and Algebra of Commitment

We propose a formal description, by means of graphical and categorical structures, of mechanisms for handling the dynamics of rights and obligations familiar in jurisprudence. We argue that the formal study of commitment in this setting can contribute new insights to the analysis of a large variety of communicative situations relevant to formal pragmatics.

Felice Cardone


The aim of this paper is to motivate and specify the logical notion of


, which judges whether or not a certain sentence makes a significant contribution towards resolving a given issue in a cooperative dialogue that is geared towards the exchange of information. We assume that such a contribution may consist in (partially) resolving the issue, or in raising an easier to answer sub-issue (cf. Roberts, 1996). Thus, among other things, compliance will provide a characterization of




: it will tell us which sentences count as (partial) answers to a given question, or as subquestions of that question.

Jeroen Groenendijk, Floris Roelofsen

The Calculus of Responsibility and Commitment

Ever since Montague (1974 [1970]) laid the foundations for formally precise analysis of natural language (hereafter NL) semantics in the late 1960’s, the typed lambda calculus (hereafter TLC) and certain of its extensions have been the linguists’ tool of choice for representing the meanings of NL expressions. But starting around the turn of the millenium, motivated by a range of linguistic phenomena collectively known as

covert movement

phenomena, logical grammarians of various persuasions have proposed the use of other semantic term calculi that embody, directly or indirectly, some notion or other of



Carl Pollard

Negative Translations and Duality: Toward a Unified Approach

We address two related topics concerning recent developments of constructive classical logic. The first topic concerns the well known relationships that negative translation (a.k.a. CPS translation) establishes between classical and intuitionistic logic. We examine why they fail to give us a clear and complete picture of constructive classical logic. Secondly, we analyze some recently developed classical calculi which shed new light on negative translation and its connections with the concept of syntactical duality.

Mattia Petrolo

Ontologies and Coherence Spaces

Semantic Web is the initiative supported by the W3C that aims to make the WorldWideWeb a place of interaction among machines – or at least among their “representatives” known as

autonomous agents

[3] – thanks to the exchange of “labelled” data. It is clearly something more complex and more interesting than today’s Web, which allows only for the exchange of files and “raw” data that machines simply display on a monitor.

V. M. Abrusci, M. Romano, C. Fouqueré


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