Philippe Schlenker, Global Distinguished Professor of Linguistics


Philippe Schlenker is a senior researcher at CNRS (Institut Jean-Nicod, Paris) and a Global Distinguished Professor at New York University. He was educated at École Normale Supérieure (Paris), and obtained a Ph.D. in Linguistics from MIT, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from EHESS (Paris). He has taught at École Normale Supérieure, Paris, at the University of Southern California, at UCLA, and, since 2008, at NYU.

Dr. Schlenker’s early interests included semantics, pragmatics, the philosophy of language and philosophical logic. He has conducted research on indexicals and indirect discourse, intensional semantics ('A Plea for Monsters', Linguistics & Philosophy 2003), anaphora, presuppositions ('Local Contexts', Semantics & Pragmatics 2009), as well as semantic paradoxes.

In recent work, Dr. Schlenker has advocated a program of 'super semantics' that seeks to expand the traditional frontiers of the field. He has investigated the semantics of sign languages, with special attention both to their logical structure and to the rich iconic means that interact with it ('Visible Meaning', to appear in Theoretical Linguistics). In order to have a point of comparison for these iconic phenomena, Dr. Schlenker has also investigated the logic and typology of gestures in spoken language. In collaborative work with primatologists and psycholinguists, he has laid the groundwork for a 'primate semantics' that seeks to apply the general methods of formal linguistics to primate vocalizations ('What do Monkey Calls Mean?', Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2016). And in ongoing research, he has advocated the development of a detailed semantics for music, albeit one that is very different from linguistic semantics ('Outline of Music Semantics', to appear in Music Perception).

Dr. Schlenker is the former Managing Editor of Journal of Semantics, and a member of the editorial boards of several semantics journals. His research has been funded by the Fondation Thiers, the American Council of Learned Societies, the NSF, the European Science Foundation, and the European Research Council (Advanced Grant, 2013-2018).

Updated on 03/06/2017