Projects in Previous Years

1st Semester 2019/20: Experimental investigations into the semantics of quantifiers


Sonia Ramotowska and Jakub Szymanik.

If you are interested in this project, please contact the instructor(s) by email.

Registration until 17 December 2019, 13:00 hr.  through, using the course code: 5314REIS6Y


During the last decade experimental semanticists have been investigating the verification process of quantifiers (e.g. Hackl, 2009, Pietroski et al, 2009) as well as meaning boundaries of vague expressions (e.g. Pezzelle et al, 2018). They have been trying to associate the meaning of the quantifier with the specific verification strategy. For example, Hackl (2009) found that truth-conditionally equivalent quantifiers like “most” and “more than half” are verified using different strategies.

During this project students will have the opportunity to learn how to empirically test semantic theories by planning, implementing and running online experiments. We will also conduct statistical analyses on the collected data.


In the first two weeks of the project students will implement and run an experiment. In the two next weeks, students will analyze collected data and write a short report based on the results.


Requested: interest in experimental semantics/pragmatics, working knowledge of statistics.

Useful: experience in collecting experimental data, programming skills in R, Python or/and js.


Assessment will be based on active participation in all stages of the project on a pass/fail basis.



  1. Hackl, M. (2009). On the grammar and processing of proportional quantifiers: Most versus more than half. Natural Language Semantics, 17(1):63–98.
  2. Pietroski, P., Lidz, J., Hunter, T., and Halberda, J. (2009). The meaning of ‘most’: Semantics, numerosity, and psychology. Mind and Language, 24(5):554–585.
  3. Pezzelle, S., Bernardi, R., Piazza, M. (2018). Probing the Mental Representation of Quantifiers. Cognition, 181, 117-126.
  4. Natalia Talmina, Arnold Kochari, and Jakub Szymanik. Quantifiers and verification strategies: connecting the dots. Proceedings of the 21st Amsterdam Colloquium, A. Cremers, T. van Gessel, F. Roelofsen (Eds.), 2017, pp. 465-473.