Workshop “Going Heim – Linguistic Meaning Between Structure and Use”

Irene Heim is among the most influential scholars in the study of natural-language semantics and pragmatics. Several of her lasting contributions to the field were contained or foreshadowed in her dissertation “The Semantics of Definite and Indefinite Noun Phrases” (UMass Amherst, 1982). There, Heim demonstrated that Montagovian semantics and Chomskyan syntax, two schools of thought which had developed independently and were deemed at cross-purposes by many, could in fact be unified to mutual benefit. Heim’s dissertation is also one of the first fully developed accounts in what would come to be known as dynamic semantics. With this workshop, we will celebrate Heim’s recent 60th birthday and use the occasion to reflect on the transformative nature of her early work, its continued influence over the years since, and the present state and trajectory of the field of formal semantics and pragmatics.


Location: Oak Hall 101

Date: May 2-3, 2015

Keynote: Irene Heim (MIT)

Confirmed Speakers:

Full program.

Call for papers

In addition to keynote and invited presentations, there will be a limited number of contributed talks (45 minutes + 30 minutes of discussion), with at least one slot reserved for a graduate student presentation. The winner of the graduate student competition will receive free accommodation and a travel subsidy.

We invite contributions that address any topic related to Irene Heim’s dissertation, including but not limited to (in)definiteness, static vs. dynamic approaches, QVE, anaphora, pronouns, bishops, and sage plants.

Registration and submissions

If you are interested in attending or contributing a talk, please e-mail Magdalena Kaufmann.

If you would like to contribute a talk, please note in your email if you would like to be considered for the graduate student competition. Submissions will be selected by the end of March.

Deadline for registration: April 15, 2015

Deadline for submissions: March 23, 2015

Please indicate:

  • day(s) of attendance;
  • interest in session chairing;
  • interest in participating in the conference dinner;
  • interest in a UConn Logic Group T-shirt.

The dinner will be at personal expense. The T-shirts will be available for a small fee.

Registration is free, but cannot be confirmed if not received by the registration deadline.


The UConn Logic Group gratefully acknowledges the financial support for the workshop by the UConn Humanities Institue, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Philosophy Department and the Linguistics Department.

Related events

Workshop participants may also find the following talks of interest and plan their travel accordingly:

The workshop organizers will be happy to answer inquiries about these events.