[SynSem] Bridget Copley (UMR 7023)
Bridget Copley (UMR 7023)
Causal models for syntacticians and semanticists
Causal modeling is a formal tool that is beginning to see uptake among formal semanticists (Kaufmann 2013, Baglini & Francez 2016, Nadathur & Lauer 2020, Bar-Asher Siegal & Boneh 2020, a.o.). A general view of the advantages to using causal modeling for language is that it links causation in a broad sense (cf. work by Leonard Talmy) with modality in a broad sense. We get thereby a simpler relationship between morphosyntax and a lean denotation, since a lot of the causal and modal complexity ends up in the causally-enriched interpretation. In this talk I give a quick introduction to causal models, an overview of what they can already do for us, and some perspectives on what they might be able to do for us once we work out the details.