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Louise Elizabeth McNally Seifert

ICREA Acadèmia 2008, 2013 & 2018

Universitat Pompeu Fabra · Humanities

Louise Elizabeth McNally  Seifert

Louise McNally holds a BA in Modern Languages and Linguistics from the University of Delaware (1987) and a PhD in Linguistics (1992) from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She taught at Indiana University, The Ohio State University and the University of California, San Diego before joining Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) in 1995, where she is Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Translation and Language Sciences and a member of the Formal Linguistics Group (GLiF). She was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt-J.C. Mutis Research Award in 2017, and has been a Mercator Fellow. She is co-editor of the journal Semantics and Pragmatics and on the editorial committee of the Annual Review of Linguistics. She was an evaluation area president for the Agencia Estatal de Investigación, has served on various ERC panels, and is currently on the Committee of Experts for the German Excellence Strategy.

Research interests

My research is concerned with how we convey meaning through language. A successful theory of meaning should account for our ability to construct and interpret an infinite variety of complex utterances; it should also explain how we integrate general knowledge, information about the specific individuals and situations we refer to, and information about the structure of the discourses in which we participate. I aim to develop a general theory of meaning that makes testable predictions about the similarities and differences between languages, about human language processing and acquisition, and about language change; one that, eventually, might be computationally implemented. Traditionally, theories of meaning have differed according to whether they take language to signal something in the world versus some sort of conceptual representation. In contrast, the model I am developing explicitly integrates these two approaches to meaning.


linguistics, semantics, pragmatics, computational semantics

ICREA Memoir 2023