Dr Matthew Gotham

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

My current research project is The Semantics and Pragmatics of Individuation, funded by an Early Career Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust. Individuation means telling things apart. In linguistics, puzzles relating to individuation arise when thinking about the meaning of (i) words like same and different, and (ii) various sentences involving quantification or counting. Things can be counted in different ways depending both on how they are described (semantics) and on conversational interests (pragmatics), and the project aims to describe and explain this variability. For example, if you ask me how many books I have, should I count two copies of War and Peace as two books, or one?

I was previously a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Oslo, where I participated in the project SynSem: From Form to Meaning – Integrating Linguistics and Computing at the Centre for Advanced Study at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. I received my PhD from University College London in 2014.


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