As part of ESSLLI 2017


QUantifiers And Determiners

Toulouse, Monday  July 17 --- Friday July 21:  17:00-18:30

 ESSLLI 2017 workshop

Christian Retoré, LIRMM & université de Montpellier,

Mark Steedman, University of Edinburgh


deadline for submissions:  17 Mars 2017
notification to authors:  15 April 2017
final version due: 19 May 2017
conference: 17-21 July 2017 see programme below


The compositional interpretation of determiners relies on quantifiers  — in a general acceptation of this later term which includes generalised quantifiers, generics, definite descriptions i.e. any operation that applies to one or several formulas with a free variable, binds it  and yields a formula or possibly a generic term  (the operator is then called a subnector, following Curry). There is a long history of quantification in the Ancient and Medieval times at the border between logic and philosophy of language, before the proper formalisation of quantification by Frege.

A common solution for natural language semantics is the so-called theory of generalised quantifiers. Quantifiers like « some, exactly two, at most three, the majority of, most of, few, many, … » are all described in terms of functions of two predicates viewed as subsets.

Nevertheless, many mathematical and linguistic questions remain open.

On the mathematical side, little is known about generalised , generalised and vague quantifiers, in particular about their proof theory. On the other hand, even for standard quantifiers, indefinites and definite descriptions, there exist alternative formulations with choice functions and generics or subnectors (Russell’s iota, Hilbert-Bernays, eta, epsilon, tau). The computational aspects of these logical frameworks are also worth studying, both for computational linguistic software and for the modelling of the cognitive processes involved in understanding or producing sentences involving quantifiers.

On the linguistic side, the relation between the syntactic structure and its semantic interpretation, quantifier raising, underspecification, scope issues,…  are not fully satisfactory. Furthermore extension of linguistic studies to various languages have shown how complex quantification is in natural language and its relation to phenomena like generics, plurals,  and mass nouns.

Finally, and this can be seen as a link between formal models of quantification and natural language,  there by now exist psycholinguistic experiments that connect formal models and their computational properties to the actual way human do process sentences with quantifiers, and handle their inherent ambiguity, complexity, and difficulty in understanding.

All those aspects are connected in the didactics of mathematics and computer science: there are specific difficulties to teach (and to learn) how to  understand, manipulate,  produce and  prove quantified statements, and to determine  the proper level of formalisation between bare logical formulas and written or spoken natural language.

This workshop aims at gathering  mathematicians, logicians, linguists, computer scientists  to present their latest advances in the study of quantification.

Among the topics that wil be addressed are the following :

Some recent relevant references:


Talks are 20' + 3' questions except the introduction (= 2 regular talks)

Thsi is a tentative schedule that may evolve.


Programme committee: 

Instructions for authors

Abstract should be less than four pages of contents with, in addition to these four pages, a bibliography.
We prefer abstracts to be typeset with LaTeX, using the following template:

For non latex users, the  style is 12pt, times, with margin 2,5 cm, and you for the title affiliation, sections, bibliography etc. here is a PDF example.