Dr. Anastasia Giannakidou (University of Chicago)
November 3, 2023
9:00 am

Dr. Anastasia Giannakidou (University of Chicago)

"Modality, Veridicality, and Bias"

Anastasia Giannakidou, Ph.D.
Professor of Linguistics
The University of Chicago

Friday, November 3
9:00–10:30 a.m. EDT
Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library

In this lecture, Anastasia Giannakidou will discuss three empirical phenomena— polarity, mood choice, and modal sentences— aiming to show that the property of veridicality is central in properly understanding and successfully analyzing them. She will argue that veridicality characterizes the state of knowledge, and it represents epistemic commitment of an agent to the truth of a proposition p. Modal verbs, I will argue following Giannakidou and Mari 2021, are anti-knowledge markers: they are indicators that speakers lack knowledge of p. Necessity modals, in addition, convey bias towards p, which is a preference of p based on evidence, yet not veridical commitment to it. The concept of bias is also useful for characterizing rhetorical effects in questions which will be discussed briefly at the end of the talk. The main languages of illustration will be Greek, English, French, and Italian.