St. Kaufmann
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Stefan Kaufmann


This page is always under construction.

My main research interests lie in the area of linguistic meaning and its relationship to form and use. The linguistic phenomena I am concerned with are primarily modality, conditionals, tense and aspect, with additional interests in discourse particles, intonation, and semantic change. The methods I apply to collect data and test hypotheses include introspection, experiments with human subjects, and computational analyses of text corpora. The theoretical frameworks I use to develop my analyses are variants of Montagovian intensional semantics, as well as formal pragmatic models of context and mutual belief. The languages I draw on are mostly English, Japanese and German, with comparisons to a wider sample where needed. My work makes interdisciplinary connections to philosophy, philology, psychology and artificial intelligence. I have published collaborative work with colleagues in all of these areas, as well as in economics, education, and political science.


Selected publications

Modality and temporality

Kaufmann, Stefan. 2020. Formal treatments of tense and aspect. In Jacobsen, Wesley M. and Yukinori Takubo (eds.), Handbook of Japanese Semantics and Pragmatics, vol. 5 of Shibatani, Masayoshi and Taro Kageyama (eds.), Handbook of Japanese Language and Linguistics, pages 371-422. DeGruyter.

Kaufmann, Magdalena and Stefan Kaufmann. 2020. Talking about sources. In Asatryan, Mariam, Yixiao Song and Ayana Whitmal (eds.), Proceedings of the 50th Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society (NELS~50), Vol. 2, pages 77-90. Amherst, MA: GLSA Publications.

Kaufmann, Stefan. 2017. The Limit Assumption. Semantics & Pragmatics 10:18, pages 1-29.

Kaufmann, Magdalena and Stefan Kaufmann. 2018. Stativity and Progressive: The Case of Japanese tokoro-da. In Truswell, Robert, Chris Cummings, Caroline Heycock, Brian Rabern, and Hannah Rohde (eds.), Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21, pages 661-678, Edinburgh, UK.

Kaufmann, Magdalena and Stefan Kaufmann. 2016. Modality and mood in formal semantics. In Nuyts, Jan and Johan van der Auwera, editors, The Oxford Handbook of Modality and Mood, Chapter 23, pages 535-558. Oxford University Press.

Cariani, Fabrizio, Stefan Kaufmann, and Magdalena Kaufmann. 2013. Deliberative modality under epistemic uncertainty. Linguistics and Philosophy 36:225-259.

Kaufmann, Stefan and Misa Miyachi. 2011.On the Temporal Interpretation of Japanese Temporal Clauses. Journal of East Asian Linguistics 20:33-76.

Kaufmann, Stefan and Magdalena Schwager. 2011. A uniform analysis of conditional imperatives. In Cormany, Ed and Satoshi Ito (eds.), Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 19'), pages 223-238. Columbus, OH, April 2009.

Arita, Setsuko and Stefan Kaufmann. 2009. The Japanese unconditional operator doose. In Proceedings of the Tenth Symposium on Logic and Language (LoLa 10), pages 89-97. Balatonszemes, Hungary.

Kaufmann, Stefan and Yukinori Takubo. 2005. Non-veridical uses of Japanese expressions of temporal precedence. In McGloin, Naomi H. and Junko Mori (eds.), Proceedings of the Fifteenth Conference in Japanese/Korean Linguistics (JK 15), pages 358-369. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.

Kaufmann, Stefan, Cleo Condoravdi, and Valentina Harizanov. 2006. Formal approaches to modality. In Frawley, William, editor, The Expression of Modality, pages 71-106. Mouton de Gruyter.

Kaufmann, Stefan. 2000. Dynamic context management. In Faller, Martina, Stefan Kaufmann, and Marc Pauly (eds.), Formalizing the Dynamics of Information, pages 171-188. CSLI Publications, Stanford, CA.


Modality as a Window on Cognition, Workshop held at the 19th International Congress of Linguists in Geneva, Switzerland, July 22-23, 2013. Co-organized with Magdalena Kaufmann (University of Connecticut) and Yukinori Takubo (Kyoto University).

Context and discourse particles

Kaufmann, Stefan. In preparation. Strong and weak presupposition: German ja under quantifiers.

Kaufmann, Magdalena and Stefan Kaufmann. 2012. Epistemic particles and performativity. In Chereches, Anca (ed.), Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 22, pages 208-225.

Berends, Matthew and Stefan Kaufmann. 2009. Only and monotonicity in conditionals. In Riester, Arndt and Torgrim Solstad (eds.), Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 13, pages 63-76, University of Stuttgart, Germany.

Kim, Min-Joo and Stefan Kaufmann. 2006. Domain restriction in freedom of choice: A view from Korean indet+na items. In Puig-Waldmüller (ed.), Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 11, pages 375-389, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain.

Inference and intonation

Rohde, Hannah, Scott Seyfarth, Brady Clark, Gerhard Jäger, and Stefan Kaufmann. 2012. Communicating with Cost-based Implicature: A Game-Theoretic Approach to Ambiguity. In Brown-Schmidt, Sarah, Jonathan Ginzburg, and Staffan Larsson (eds.), Proceedings of the 16th Workshop on the Semantics and Pragmatics of Dialogue (SEINEDIAL), pages 107-116. Paris, France, September 2012.

German, James B., Eyal Sagi, Stefan Kaufmann, and Brady Clark. 2011. The role of speaker beliefs in determining accent placement. In Benz, Anton, Christian Ebert, Gerhard Jäger, and Robert van Rooij, editors, Language, Games, and Evolution, pages 92-116. Springer.

Djalali, Alex and Stefan Kaufmann. 2009. Probabilistic inferences in dynamic semantics. In Proceedings of the Tenth Symposium on Logic and Language (LoLa 10), pages 99-107. Balatonszemes, Hungary.

German, James B., Janet Pierrehumbert, and Stefan Kaufmann. 2006. Evidence for phonological constraints on nuclear accent placement. Language 82:151-168.

Linguistic form and semantic theory

Kaufmann, Stefan. Under review. How fake is fake Past?

Kaufmann, Magdalena and Stefan Kaufmann. 2021. Iffy endorsements. Journal of Semantics 38(4):639-665.

Mizuno, Teruyuki and Stefan Kaufmann. 2018. Past-as-Past in Japanese counterfactuals. In Ronai, Eszter, Laura Stigliano, and Yenan Sun (eds.), Proceedings of the Fifth-Fourth Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, CLS, pages 309-324.

Kaufmann, Magdalena and Stefan Kaufmann. 2015. Conditionals and modality. In Lappin, Shalom and Chris Fox, editors, The Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory, 2nd edition, Chapter 8, pages 237-270. John Wiley & Sons.

Kaufmann, Stefan. 2013. Causal Premise Semantics. Cognitive Science 37:1136-1170.

Kaufmann, Stefan. 2005. Conditional truth and future reference. Journal of Semantics 22:231-280.

Kanazawa, Makoto, Stefan Kaufmann, and Stanley Peters. 2005. On the lumping semantics of counterfactuals. Journal of Semantics 22:129-151.

Kaufmann, Stefan. 2005. Conditionals. In Brown, Keith, editor-in-chief, Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd edition, Volume 3, pages 6-9. Elsevier.

Probability and causality

Kaufmann, Stefan. 2022. Bernoulli Semantics and Ordinal Semantics for conditionals. Journal of Philosophical Logic.

Kaufmann, Stefan. 2017. Towards a probabilistic analysis for conditionals and unconditionals. In Otake, Mihoko, Setsuya Kurahashi, Ken Satoh, and Dakisuke Bekki, editors, New Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence, Volume 10091 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 3-14. Springer.

Kaufmann, Stefan. 2017. Probabilistic Semantics and Pragmatics for the Language of Uncertainty. In Ferraro, Maria Brigida, Paolo Giordani, Barbara Vataggi, Marek Gagolewski, María Ángeles Gil, Przemysław Grzegorzewski, and Olgierd Hryniewicz (eds.), Soft Methods for Data Science, vol. 456 of Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, Springer, pages 285-291.

Kaufmann, Stefan. 2015. Conditionals, conditional probabilities, and conditionalization. In Schmitz, Hans-Christian and Henk Zeevat, editors, Bayesian Natural Language Semantics and Pragmatics, pages 71-94. Springer.

Dehghani, Morteza, Rumen Iliev, and Stefan Kaufmann. 2012. Causal explanation and fact mutability in counterfactual reasoning. Mind & Language 27(1):55-85.

Kaufmann, Stefan. 2009. Conditionals right and left: Probabilities for the whole family. Journal of Philosophical Logic 38(1):1-53.

Kaufmann, Stefan. 2005. Conditionals predictions: A probabilistic account. Linguistics and Philosophy 28:181-231.

Kaufmann, Stefan. 2004. Conditioning against the grain: Abduction and indicative conditionals. Journal of Philosophical Logic 33:583-606.

Kaufmann, Stefan, Erica Winston, and Deborah Zutty. 2004. Local and global interpretations of conditionals. Eighth Symposium on Logic and Language (LOLA 8), Debrecen, Hungary.

Sagi, Eyal, Daniel Diermeier, and Stefan Kaufmann. 2013. Identifying issue frames in text. PloS One 8(7):e69185.

Sagi, Eyal, Stefan Kaufmann, and Brady Clark. 2011. Tracing semantic change with Latent Semantic Analysis. In Allen, Kathryn and Justyna Robinson (eds.), Current Methods in Historical Semantics, pages 161-183. De Gruyter Mouton.

Diermeier, Daniel, Jean-François Godbout, Bei Yu, and Stefan Kaufmann. 2011. Language and Ideology in Congress. British Journal of Political Science 42(1):31-55.

Yu, Bei, Daniel Diermeier, and Stefan Kaufmann. 2008. Classifying party affiliation from political speech. Journal of Information Technology in Politics 5:33-48.

Yu, Bei, Stefan Kaufmann, and Daniel Diermeier. 2008. Exploring the characteristics of opinion expressions for political opinion classification. Ninth Annual Internation Conference on Digital Government Research (dg.o 2008), Montreal, Canada.

Dam, Gregory and Stefan Kaufmann. 2007. Computer assessment of interview data using Latent Semantic Analysis. Behavior Research Methods 40(1):8-20.

Kaufmann, Stefan. 2000. Second-order cohesion. Computational Intelligence 16:511-524.

Takayama, Yasuhiro, Raymond Flournoy, and Stefan Kaufmann. 1998. Information Mapping: Concept-Based Information Retrieval Based on Word Associations. CSLI, Stanford University.

Last modified: July 06, 2022