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Kyle Rawlins

Kyle Rawlins
Cognitive Science Department
Johns Hopkins University
Room 237 Krieger Hall
3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD, 21218

Office: Krieger 149
Office phone: 410-516-5330
Office hours: Thu 11-12 (Spring 2016)

kgr at dot jhu dot edu (or rawlins at gmail dot com)

Quick link: Computational Lexical Semantics, ESSLLI 2017 course with Aaron Steven White.

Quick link: PDF Document: Asking what ifs slides, 5/20/17, University of Toronto What if workshop.

Quick link: PDF Document: What ifs slides, 11/11, conditionals at the crossroads.

Quick link: PDF Document: Particle ‘or’ handout, 10/17


2017– : Associate Professor, Cognitive Science Department, JHU
2010–2017: Assistant Professor, Cognitive Science Department, JHU
2008–2010: Visiting Assistant Professor, Cognitive Science Department, JHU
2003–2008: PhD student in the Linguistics department at UC Santa Cruz

For more details, see my PDF Document: CV.


Areas of interest: Formal semantics, pragmatics, syntax, and the interfaces of these fields, mathematical linguistics, philosophy of language (mainly
philosophical semantics), computational semantics.

Empirical domains of particular interest: conditionals (clausal adjuncts more generally), adverbs, interrogatives/questions (and other non-declaratives), question-answer discourse, regular polysemy, definiteness, anaphora (donkey anaphora in particular), Iroquoian phonology.

There is also a more detailed overview of my research interests, with downloadable papers. If you are wondering what linguistics/semantics/etc. is, this page (an informal overview to my research, for non-specialists) might be of interest to you.


Fall 2017: Semantics I
Spring 2018: Mathematical models of language
Past: Go here.

Some LaTeX resources.

I am the faculty advisor of the JHU Go Club (facebook group).

Non-linguistic: sometimes I create music; see my music website and my soundcloud page.

ESSLLI course materials: computational lexical semantics

The materials (including slides and Jupyter notebooks) from the course that I co-taught with Aaron Steven White at ESSLLI 2017 in Toulouse are now available: We’ll be reprising this material in semantics lab meeting for F17. If you’re interested in this course, you might also be interested in Aaron’s Unsupervised Methods course, which also… Read more »

Modeling questions and responses in discourse

This post contains course materials for my 2016 NASSLLI course, ‘Modeling questions and responses in discourse’. This course presented and compare theories of responding to questions from the perspective of both linguistics, focusing on formal pragmatics, and computer science (‘QA’). Post-hoc caveat: The state of the art in QA has drastically changed since 2016 (and… Read more »

IPython lambda notebook update

The IPython lambda notebook is in public alpha, and available on github. This project is a framework for linguists and especially semanticists developing analyses in compositional semantics. It aims to provide a means of developing ‘digital fragments’, following from the method of fragments in Montague grammar.

Research section updated

The research section of my website (not to mention other parts, including this blog) had gotten quite out of date, and everything has now been thoroughly updated. Some work that has appeared recently: A paper in NLS on unconditionals. This is a new (completely static, correlative based) analysis from what was in my dissertation. A… Read more »

Biezma and Rawlins updated

An updated version of my paper with Maria Biezma, “Responding to alternative and polar questions”, can be found here on semantics archive. (The previous version from 2010 is now substantially superseded.)

NELS slides

Quick note: The slides from my 2011 NELS talk (“Converging evidence from cognitive neuropsychology for the semantic function of Pred”) can be found at PDF Document: this location.

SALT paper

My SALT 20 paper, Conversational Backoff, has appeared online. I explore and analyze a phenomenon (“conversational backoff”) where, instead of accepting an assertion in the normal way, a speaker challenges its exhaustiveness, but not its content. The result is that speakers publicly back off of the exhaustivity of the claim. These challenges are typically triggered… Read more »

Site goes live

The wordpress version of my site is now live! Hopefully not too many broken links…