imagePaul M. Pietroski

Dept. of Philosophy (Skinner Building)
Dept. of Linguistics (Marie Mount Hall)
College Park, MD 20742
phone:  301-405-4931
fax:  301-405-5690


I teach at the University of Maryland in the departments of linguistics and philosophy.
My primary research interests lie at the intersection of these fields.

For a while now, I've been thinking about how grammatical structure is related to linguistic meaning. Events and Semantic Architecture (OUP 2005, pbk 2006) was a progress report. In various papers, often collaborative, I have also been defending a nativist approach to the study of human language and an internalist conception of meaning. Other projects and collaborations have me thinking about how words are related to concepts and the computational operations that underpin complex linguistic meanings.

Here are descriptions of my linguistics course and philosophy course for Spring 2014.
And here are some draft chapters of Conjoining Meanings: semantics without truth values (to appear, eventually, with OUP).

When not teaching, I spend a fair bit of time here, sometimes doing other things

Recent and Upcoming Talks
(if you find the slides useful, feel free to use them)

Meaning First.
    Context and Content Lectures
at the Institut Jean Nicod (June 2013).
    (slides for the four lectures here)
Two Kinds of Concept Introduction.
    Conference on Concepts, North Carolina State (Sept 2013).
    (slides .pptx  .pdf)
Framing Event Variables.
    Univ. of North Carolina, ECOM talk (Sept 2013); Conference on Internalism, Montreal (Oct 2013);
    Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst (Jan 2014).
    (slides .pptx  .pdf)
Church to Chomsky, Marr to Most.
    CRNAP workshop at Princeton University (Sept 2013).
    (slides .pptx ...  there are .pdf slides for the similar talk below)
What is a Theory of Human (Linguistic) Understanding? 
    Conference on Investigating Semantics: Empirical and Philosophical Approaches, Bochum Germany (Oct 2013).
    (slides .pdf ... there are .pptx slides for the similar talk above)
Human i-Languages and Semantic Typology.
    Univ. of Delaware, Linguistics and Cognitive Science Colloquium (Nov 2013).
    Rutgers University, Philosophy Seminar (Feb 2014).
    (slides .pptx  .pdf)
Mostly Framing.
    Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science (Feb 2014). 
    (slides .pptx  .pdf)  
Conjunction, Subtraction, and Comparison.
    Ohio State University, Workshop on the Semantics of Cardinals (Mar 2014).
    (slides .pptx ... there are .pdf slides for the experiments in the similar talk above)
Lexical Neutrality and Composite Meanings
    Workshop on Word Meaning at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor (Apr 2014).
     (slides .pptx  .pdf
Subjects, Predicates, and Systemtaticity
    Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Symposium: Origins of Propositional Thought, Vancouver (June 2014).
    (slides .pptx  .pdf
Semantic Framing: the meaning of 'most'
    Linguistics and Cognitive Science, Simon Frasier (June 2014).
    Konstanz (Nov. 12-13, 2014).