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Professor Kasia M. Jaszczolt

Semantics and pragmatics; philosophy of language; propositional attitude reports and belief ascription; representation of time; semantic ambiguity and underspecification
Professor Kasia M. Jaszczolt

Professor of Linguistics and Philosophy of Language

Semantics and pragmatics

Philosophy of language

Propositional attitude reports and belief ascription

Representation of time

Semantic ambiguity and underspecification

Office Phone: (+44) (0)1223 335744

Research Interests

My interests lie in the area of semantics, pragmatics, cognitive science, and philosophy of language. I can define myself as a post-Gricean pragmaticist, truth-conditional semanticist of a dynamic semantics orientation, and a supporter of contextualism in the representation of meaning, i.e. the idea that the interesting truth conditions are those of an utterance rather than a sentence: information from pragmatic inference and other contextual input contributes to the truth-conditional content.

I am interested in modelling of the process of meaning construction in discourse that takes into account the intentionality of acts of communication as well as the compositional character of meaning. I work mainly on the semantics of propositional attitude constructions and other intensional contexts; referring expressions; semantic ambiguity and underspecification; semantics/pragmatics interface; the saying/implicating distinction, and defaults in communication. In my theory of Default Semantics, I implemented the dynamic semantic approach of Discourse Representation Theory to a wide category of acts of communication, accounting for the pragmatic origin of some components of truth-conditional meaning as proposed in truth-conditional pragmatics.

My long-term project stemming from this theory concerns mapping of various aspects of meaning of acts of communication onto relevant processes and modelling their interaction (Interactive Semantics, in progress, OUP). One of my recent projects concerned semantic representation of time. In Representing Time, I developed an account of temporality understood as epistemic modality. My other related interests concern compositionality of language and thought, conceptualization of time in various languages, and contrastive semantics and pragmatics.


  • Philosophy of language
  • Pragmatics
  • Semantics


Key Publications

Jaszczolt, K. M. (2011). Default meanings, salient meanings, and automatic processing. In: K. M. Jaszczolt & K. Allan (eds). Salience and Defaults in Utterance Processing. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 11-33.


Jaszczolt K.M. (2009). Representing Time: An Essay on Temporality as Modality, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009

Jaszczolt, K. M. (2009). Cancellability and the primary/secondary meaning distinction. Intercultural Pragmatics 6. 259-289.

Jaszczolt K.M (2005). Default Semantics: Foundations of a Compositional Theory of Acts of Communication. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2005

Jaszczolt, K. M. (1999). Discourse, Beliefs and Intentions: Semantic Defaults and Propositional Attitude Ascription. Oxford: Elsevier Science.