Nina Haslinger

About me

I am a 4th-year PhD student in linguistics at the University of Göttingen. You can find my academic CV here. My last name is pronounced [hɑ:sliŋɐ].

I am a formal semanticist interested in exploring forms of quantification and predication in natural language that do not seem to fit easily into the framework of classical logic and traditional generalized quantifier theory. Methodologically, I am interested in how experimental data and morphosyntactic universals can constrain the choice between theoretical options in semantics.

My PhD supervisors are Clemens Steiner-Mayr, Viola Schmitt and Daniel Büring; for a short description of my project, see below.

I received my MA in General Linguistics in 2019 from the University of Vienna, where I was also employed as a research assistant within the project “Conjunction and Disjunction from a Typological Perspective” (PI: Viola Schmitt). My MA thesis (supervised by Daniel Büring) deals with contextual aspects of the semantics of DPs that appear to quantify over intensions (as in Anne and Mary believe two things).

I was born in Vienna in 1992. As an undergraduate, I studied computer science and German literature for several years before switching to linguistics.

Thesis project

My thesis project covers various aspects of the semantics and pragmatics of imprecise expressions in German and English.

Imprecision is a form of semantic context-dependency that can be distinguished from vagueness, polysemy and contextual domain restriction. Standard examples of imprecise expressions include definite plurals (in which contexts do we accept (1) if some, but not all of the windows are open?) and imprecise numerals (in which contexts do we accept (2) if Anna owns 99 cars?)

(1) The windows are open.

(2) Anna owns 100 cars.

The goal of my project is twofold. First, I explore the consequences of a recent theory on which imprecise sentences denote sets of multiple precise propositions (cf. Malamud 2012, Križ & Spector 2021), and interpreting an imprecise sentence in context involves selecting those propositions that are relevant to a contextually salient implicit question. I explore different compositional implementations of this idea and its interaction with semantics/pragmatics interface phenomena such as vagueness and the Gricean Maxim of Manner. Second, I suggest that imprecision is more pervasive in natural language than usually thought, by exploring the hypotheses that the cumulative/distributive “ambiguity” in relational plural predication is in fact an imprecision phenomenon and that standard cases of implicature involve truth-value gaps of the same type as imprecise predication.

Contact information

nina {dot} haslinger {at} uni-goettingen {dot} de or ninamhaslinger {at} gmail {dot} com.
Office hours for students
Friday 4-5pm or by appointment. If you would like to meet up via Zoom, that is of course possible, but please email me at least one day in advance.
SEP 0.250, Käte-Hamburger-Weg 3 (Jacob-Grimm-Haus)
Work address
Seminar für Englische Philologie
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Käte-Hamburger-Weg 3
37073 Göttingen