Learnability of Quantifiers

Shane Steinert-Threlkeld (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands) and Jakub Szymanik (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)

After giving an introduction to generalized quantifier theory, this course surveys a number of approaches to learning such quantifiers. We will look at attempts from formal language theory, from developmental psychology, and from contemporary machine learning. Each approach will be assessed through the lens of explaining semantic universals: why do natural languages only express certain types of generalized quantifiers? Students will be exposed to the application of mathematical and computational methods to natural language semantics in order to explain fundamental properties of meanings cross-linguistically.