Project description

The ANR program TRILOGMEAN ("Trivalent Logics and Natural Language Meaning"), funded by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche, is directed by Benjamin Spector (PI) and Paul Egré (coPI) and based at Institut Jean-Nicod, Ecole normale supérieure in Paris. The project has officially started in 2014 and will run until September 2018.

The main goal of the project is to consider some ways in which three-valued logics, and many-valued logics more generally, allow us to model various natural language phenomena, including:

  • The integration of vague and presuppositional expressions.
  • The problem of the "projection" of vagueness, namely the way in which the vagueness of constituents is inherited or not within larger units.
  • The analysis of semantic indeterminacy in the case of plurals,  interrogatives, and conditional sentences.

On a more theoretical side, the project also looked at:

  • The relationship of many-valued approaches with probabilistic models.
  • The analysis of some aspects of the notion of logical consequence in many-valued logic.



Journal articles

1. Spector, B. & Egré, P., A Uniform Semantics for Embedded Interrogatives: an Answer, not necessarily the Answer 2015, Synthese 192 (6): 1729-1784.

2. Cobreros, P., Egré, P., Ripley, D., van Rooij, R., 2015, Pragmatic Interpretations of Vague Expressions: Strongest Meaning and Nonmonotonic Consequence, Journal of Philosophical Logic, 44 (4): 375-393.

3. Egré, P. Vague judgment: a probabilistic account, 2017, Synthese 194 (10): 3837–3865.

4. Spector, B., Multivalent Semantics for Vagueness and Presupposition, Topoi (2016) 35: 45. doi:10.1007/s11245-014-9292-1

5. B. Buccola & Spector, B. (2016). Modified Numerals and Maximality, Linguistics and Philosophy, 39: 151. doi:10.1007/s10988-016-9187-2

6. M. Maldonado, Chemla, E., Spector, B., 2017. Priming plural ambiguities, Journal of Memory and Language, Vol. 95, August 2017, Pages 89-101.

7. Spector, B. & Sudo, Y. (2017) Presupposed ignorance and exhaustification: How scalar implicature and presupposition interact Linguistics and Philosophy, doi:10.1007/s10988-017-9208-9.

8. Chemla, E., Egré, P., Spector, B. (2017) Characterizing logical consequence in many-valued logic, Journal of Logic and Computation, 27 (7): 2193–2226.

9. M. Maldonado, Spector, B., Chemla, E., (2017) Priming methods in semantics and pragmatics, to appear in Behavioral and Brain Science. [Commentary on Branigan, H., & Pickering, M. (2016). An experimental approach to linguistic representation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1-73],

10. White, A., Storms, G., Malt, B. C., & Verheyen, S. Mind the generation gap: Differences between young and old in the representation of everyday objects. Forthcoming in Journal of Memory and Language

11. Verheyen, S., Dewill, S., Egré, P., Subjectivity in gradable adjectives : the case of tall and heavy, forthcoming in Mind and Language.

12. Ruytenbeek, N., Verheyen, S, Spector, B. Asymmetric inference towards the antonym: Experiments into the polarity and morphology of negated adjectives, Glossa, 2(1): 92. 1–27.

13. Steven Verheyen & Paul Egré, Typicality and Graded Membership in gradable adjectives, under review.

14. Križ, M. & B. Spector, Interpreting Plural Predication: Homogeneity
and Non-Maximality, under review.

15. Chemla E. & Egré P. Suszko's Problem: Mixed Consequence and Compositionality, under review.

16. Križ, M., Referentiality, Exhaustivity, and Trivalence in it-Clefts. Under review.

Book Chapters

1. Egré, P. & Zehr, J., (2016). Are Gaps preferred to Gluts? A closer look at borderline contradictions In Elena Castroviejo, Galit Weidman Sassoon, and Louise McNally. (Eds.) The Semantics of Gradability, Vagueness, and Scale Structure -Experimental Perspectives.

2. White, A., Storms, G., Malt, B. C., & Verheyen, S. (2016). Between versus within-language differences in linguistic categorization. In J. Trueswell, A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, & D. Mirman (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. (pp. 1955-1960). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

3. Verheyen, S, & G. Storms 2017, Education as a source of vagueness in criteria and degree, sous presse, in G. W. Sassoon, L. McNally, & E. Castroviejo (Eds.), Gradability, scale structure, and and vagueness: Experimental perspectives. Berlin: Springer

4. Egré, P. , D. Ripley, Verheyen, S, 2017, The sorites paradox in psychology, forthcoming in S. Oms and E. Zardini (eds), the Sorites Paradox, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, mars 2017


Courses in relation to the program

  • Egré, P., « Vagueness and Trivalence in Natural Language », Language, Logic and Cognition Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, mini course (18 hours), April 2015.
  • Spector, B., « Topics in the semantics and pragmatics of interrogativesentences », University of Vienna (20 hours), June 2015.
  • Spector B. & Chemla E.« Formal and experimental approaches to plural semantics ». Genève. June 2017.
  • Benjamin Spector et Paul Egré., « Trivalent Logics and Natural Language Meaning », ESSLLI 2016 Summer school in Bolzano (August 2016)
  • Paul Egré and Steven Verheyen, Probabilistic Models of Vagueness, ESSLLI 2017 Summer School Toulouse (August 2017)