Department of Linguistics
Gennaro Chierchia has spent his intellectual life studying how meaning takes shape in language. A common thread in his work is the idea/claim/speculation that a logic (a way of drawing inferences) spontaneously grows and latches on to the syntactic structures produced by our capacity for recursive computation. This ‘natural logic’ gives a special power to our ability to use language to communicate and refer, a power not found in other species.
Some more specific recurring themes/obsessions are properties and predication (control/raising/ de se attributions), Noun Phrase structure (quantified vs. ‘bare’ nominals, mass vs. count), anaphora and presuppositions, implicatures and polarity phenomena. He is also very interested in pursuing these topics by experimental means.