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Peter Nathan Lasersohn

Profile picture for Peter Nathan Lasersohn

Contact Information

4096 Literatures, Cultures & Linguistics Building
707 S. Mathews Ave. | MC-168
Urbana, IL 61801

Office Hours

Spring Semester 2024: Mondays, Thursdays 2:00–4:00

Research Interests

Philosophy of Language

Research Description

My main interest is in formal semantic theory for natural language. More particularly, my work has focused on "event-based" semantic theories, on the semantics of plural and coordinate constructions, pragmatic vagueness, and relative truth. I also have broader interests in logic, pragmatics, mathematical linguistics, and the philosophy of language.


Ph.D., Ohio State University
M.A., Ohio State University
B.A., Earlham College

Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor, Philosophy

Highlighted Publications


Lasersohn, Peter. Subjectivity and Perspective in Truth-Theoretic Semantics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.

Plurality, Conjunction and Events. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1995.

A Semantics for Groups and Events. New York: Garland Publishing, 1990.

Journal Articles

"Common Nouns as Modally Non-Rigid Restricted Variables." Linguistics and Philosophy, vol. 44, no. 2, 2021, pp. 363-424.

"Non-World Indices and Assessment-Sensitivity." Inquiry, vol. 56, no. 2-3, 2013, p. 122-148.

"Contextualism and Compositionality." Linguistics and Philosophy, vol. 35, no. 2, 2012, p. 171-189.

"Context, Relevant Parts and (Lack of) Disagreement over Taste." Philosophical Studies, vol. 156, no. 3, 2011, p. 433-439.

"Relative Truth, Speaker Commitment, and Control of Implicit Arguments." Synthese, vol. 166, no. 2, 2009, p. 359-374.

"Quantification and Perspective in Relativist Semantics." Philosophical Perspectives, vol. 22, 2008, p. 305-337.

"Expressives, Perspective and Presupposition." Theoretical Linguistics, vol. 33, no. 2, 2007, p. 223-230.

"Context Dependence, Disagreement, and Predicates of Personal Taste." Linguistics and Philosophy, vol. 28, no. 6, 2005, p. 643-686.

"The Temperature Paradox as Evidence for a Presuppositional Analysis of Definite Descriptions." Linguistic Inquiry, vol. 36, no. 1, 2005, p. 127-134.

"Parts, Wholes and 'Still'." Studies in the Linguistic Sciences, vol. 29, no. 1, 1999, p. 81-85.

"Pragmatic Halos." Language, vol. 75, no. 3, 1999, p. 522-551.

"Generalized Distributivity Operators." Linguistics and Philosophy, vol. 21, no. 1, 1998, p. 83-93.

"Bare Plurals and Donkey Anaphora." Natural Language Semantics, vol. 5, no. 1, 1997, p. 79-86.

"Sounds Like 'Like'." Linguistic Analysis, vol. 25, no. 1-2, 1995, p. 70-77.

"Existence Presuppositions and Background Knowledge." Journal of Semantics, vol. 10, no. 2, 1993, p. 113-122.

"Generalized Conjunction and Temporal Modification." Linguistics and Philosophy, vol. 15, no. 4, 1992, p. 381-410.

"Group Action and Spatio-Temporal Proximity." Linguistics and Philosophy, vol. 13, no. 2, 1990, p. 179-206.

"Inclusion-Checking, Exclusion-Checking, and Cumulativity." Texas Linguistic Forum, vol. 31, 1989, p. 55-70.

"On the Readings of Plural Noun Phrases." Linguistic Inquiry, vol. 20, no. 1, 1989, p. 130-134.

Book Contributions

"Common Nouns as Variables: Evidence from Conservativity and the Temperature Paradox." Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21,  2018, p. 731–746.

"Compositional Interpretation in which the Meanings of Complex Expressions are not Computable from the Meanings of their Parts." Theory and Evidence in Semantics, edited by John Nerbonne, edited by Erhard Hinrichs. Stanford, Calif.: CSLI Publications, 2009, p. 133-158.

"'Same', Models and Representation." Proceedings from Semantics and Linguistic Theory X, edited by Brendan Jackson, edited by Tanya Matthews. Ithaca, N.Y.: CLC Publications, 2000, p. 83-97.

"Events in the Semantics of Collectivizing Adverbials." Events and Grammar, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1998, p. 273-292.

"Adnominal Conditionals." Proceedings from Semantics and Linguistic Theory VI, edited by Teresa Galloway, edited by Justin Spence. Ithaca, N.Y.: CLC Publications 1996, p. 154-166.

"Lexical Distributivity and Implicit Arguments." Proceedings from Semantics and Linguistic Theory III, edited by Utpal Lahiri, edited by Adam Wyner. Ithaca, N.Y.: CLC Publications, 1993, p. 145-161.

"Collective Nouns and Distributive Determiners." Papers from the 23rd Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society. Part One: The General Session, edited by Barbara Need, edited by Eric Schiller, edited by Anna Bosch. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society, 1987, p. 215-229.

"The Semantics of Appositive and Pseudo-Appositive NP’s." ESCOL 86: Proceedings of the Third Eastern States Conference on Linguistics, edited by Fred Marshall. Columbus, Oh.: Ohio State University, 1986, p. 311-322.

Encyclopedia Entries

"Mass Nouns and Plurals." Semantics: An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning, Berlin: DeGruyter, 2011.

"Event-Based Semantics." Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd ed. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2006.

"Plurality." Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd ed. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2006.


Review of Complex Demonstratives: A Quantificational Account by Jeffrey King. Studies in the Linguistic Sciences, vol. 32, no. 2, 2005, p. 91-94.

Review of Flexibility Principles in Boolean Semantics by Yoad Winter. Applied Psycholinguistics, vol. 24, no. 2, 2003, p. 317-319.

Recent Publications

Lasersohn, P. (2021). Common nouns as modally non-rigid restricted variables. Linguistics and Philosophy, 44(2), 363-424.

Lasersohn, P. N. (2018). Common Nouns as Variables: Evidence From Conservativity and the Temperature Paradox. In R. Truswell, C. Cummins, C. Heycock, B. Rabern, & H. Rohde (Eds.), Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21 (pp. 731-746). Gesellschaft fur Semantik.

Lasersohn, P. N. (2017). Subjectivity and Perspective in Truth-Theoretic Semantics. (Oxford Studies in Semantics and Pragmatics). Oxford University Press.

Lasersohn, P. (2013). Non-World Indices and Assessment-Sensitivity. Inquiry (United Kingdom), 56(2-3), 122-148.

Lasersohn, P. (2012). Contextualism and compositionality. Linguistics and Philosophy, 35(2), 171-189.

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