Computational Logic Seminar

Speaker: Ray Jennings
Date: Jan. 29, 2004
Place and Time: ASB 9705 at 1:30pm


One could write a book about the word or. Its orthographic innocence hides the richness and variety of its roles in the English language. Perhaps for that reason it doesn't puzzle as many of us as it ought to. I will speak about the relationship of English or with the truth-functional vand say something about the descent of the disjunctive use of or.

My general approach to language treats it as primarily a biological phenomenon. Or and other natural language connectives (if, but, and so on) provide a useful set of test cases in which this approach can be contrasted with others, notably those of Chomsky and Grice.