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Arnold Kochari

WP2 Semantic and conceptual basis of language & WP3 Compositionality and contextuality

Arnold Kochari is a PhD candidate based at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation at the University of Amsterdam and additionally affiliated with the Donders Centre for Cognition at Radboud University in Nijmegen. He completed an interdisciplinary bachelor’s programme at Charles University in Prague majoring in psychology. He then moved to the Netherlands and received a research master's degree in Lingustics at Utrecht University. Here, he specialized in psycho- and neurolinguisics and worked on research projects employing behavioral, eye-tracking and EEG methods.

In his PhD project, Arnold investigates how we process vague terms in language. An adjective like 'tall' is vague in terms of how tall something or someone needs to be in order to be considered such. Similarly, there is no clear number at which one is justified or not justified to use quantifiers like ‘many’ or ‘a few’ (e.g. ‘many people’, ‘a few bicycles’). Vagueness is pervasive in natural language and has puzzled philosophers for centuries and, in recent decades, linguists and logicians. Arnold’s project investigates how the meaning of vague expressions is cognitively grounded, by focusing on the online processing of vague expressions, and how this processing depends on contextual factors.

The project combines logical semantics and psycholinguistics. Successful intersection of the fields has the potential of bringing valuable knowledge both in terms of language processing by the brain and resolution of the difficulty with accounting for vague expressions in logic.

More information on Arnold's PhD project.