Author Archives: robinlclark

About robinlclark

I am Professor of linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. My interests include a microeconomic approach to linguistic meaning, game theory as applied to linguistic pragmatics, language and strategic interaction, and a neuroeconomic approach to linguistic decision-making.

The joys of analytic philosophy: A paradox

No comment really required, except that I found this amusing.

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Friday Music: Thisbe’s Choice

In honor of my daughter’s first birthday,  I’m posting one of Thisbe‘s favorite performers, Aretha Franklin.  This is a nice performance of Rock Steady (from Soul Train, circa 1971): The whole time Jennifer was pregnant, we had a running joke that … Continue reading

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Cheap Talk

Game theorists spend a lot of time thinking about signaling in situations where there is asymmetric information.  These are cases where one player knows more than another player; the first player may want to signal something (for strategic advantage) or … Continue reading

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Entrenchment: “Befriend” vs. “friend”

In “Old words, new meanings,” I talked a little about how words can come to occupy semantic niches; really, this is just the question of how words can come to express the meanings that they express.  The idea is that … Continue reading

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Stephen Fry on language

A nice oration by Stephen Fry, illuminated with kinetic typography.

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Old words, new meanings

In 2009, the Oxford English Dictionary made “unfriend” the word of the year.    The word is so new, in fact, that my electronic dictionary doesn’t have it.  The entry it gives for “unfriended” is: without friends : murder left … Continue reading

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The Hamburger Pimp

From Rudy Ray Moore‘s masterpiece, Dolemite.  What more can I say? (Except I kick my own ass twice a day as well!)  Dave Embick pointed me to the Wikipedia entry for Dolemite, which says that the Hamburger Pimp was played … Continue reading

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