In their search for the universal features and the range of variation in languages around the world linguists have paid most attention to phonological, morphological and syntactic properties. Much less attention has been paid to semantic and pragmatic features. To fill this gap, researchers from ACLC and ILLC have joined forces, addressing the questions involved in two different ways:
This work is carried out in the context of several research projects, including:
All members of the cross-linguistic semantics group are also members of other ILLC/ACLC research groups and the information about their research highlights is already summarized in other group reports. Here we only mention one illustrative example of our results:
Roelofsen has supervised two AI bachelor thesis projects on the automatic translation of Dutch into Dutch Sign Language using a framework developed in formal semantics (the Grammatical Framework). While these projects were exploratory in nature, in the longer term the intention is to develop a system that can help learners of sign language (e.g., parents of deaf children) reach a level of basic proficiency.
van Alphen was consulted and/or interviewed by various journalists on the issue *Language and Gender*: