My research uses computational, logical, and experimental methods to address questions at the foundations of natural language semantics and cognitive science. Much of my work has been driven by the following question: in what ways does human cognition shape the structure of the natural languages that we speak? To that end, I have pursued explanations of semantic universals and of compositionality in terms of their impact on the learnability of meaning systems. Related interests include animal communication and expressivism in the theory of communication.
Before coming to Washington, I was (after a brief visit at Institut Jean Nicod) a postdoc at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation at Universiteit van Amsterdam, on the project Cognitive Semantics and Quantities. Before that, I did my PhD in Philosophy and Symbolic Systems at Stanford University. During Summer 2016, I was a research software engineering intern in the Research and Machine Intelligence division of Google. Before that, I studied Philosophy, Mathematics, and Computer Science at The Johns Hopkins University.
You can reach me via snail or electronic mail:
Guggenheim Hall, room 418D
Seattle, Washington 98195
shanest AT uw DOT edu
"Towards the Emergence of Non-trivial Compositionality"
Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, Philosophy of Science, forthcoming.
"An Explanation of the Veridical Uniformity Universal"
Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, Journal of Semantics, forthcoming.
"Informational Dynamics of Epistemic Possibility Modals"
Peter Hawke and Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, Synthese, vol 195 no 10, pp. 4309-4342.
"Compositionality and Competition in Monkey Alert Calls"
Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, Theoretical Linguistics, vol 42 no 1-2, pp. 159-171.
"ADC Method of Proof Search in Intuitionistic Propositional Natural Deduction"
Grigori Mints and Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, Journal of Logic and Computation, vol 26 no 1, pp. 395-408.
"Ontological Labels for Automated Location of Anatomical Shape Differences"
Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, Siamak Ardekani, Jose L.V. Mejino, Landon Todd Detwiler, James F. Brinkley, Michael Halle, Ron Kikinis, Raimond L. Winslow, Michael I. Miller, and J. Tilak Ratnanather, Journal of Biomedical Informatics, vol 45 no 3, pp. 522-527.
"Quantifiers in natural language optimize the simplicity/informativeness trade-off"
Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, Proceedings of the 22nd Amsterdam Colloquium, forthcoming.
"The emergence of monotone quantifiers via iterated learning"
Fausto Carcassi, Shane Steinert-Threlkeld (co-first), and Jakub Szymanik, Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2019).
"Complexity and learnability in the explanation of semantic universals"
Iris van de Pol, Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, and Jakub Szymanik, Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2019).
"Neural Models of the Psychosemantics of "Most""
Lewis O'Sullivan and Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, Proceedings of the 9th Workshop on Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics (CMCL2019).
official poster code
"Some of them can Be Guessed! Exploring the Effect of Linguistic Context in Predicting Quantifiers"
Sandro Pezzelle, Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, Raffaella Bernardi, Jakub Szymanik, Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL 2018).
"Uniform Definability in Assertability Semantics"
Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, Proceedings of the 21st Amsterdam Colloquium, eds. Alexandre Cremers, Thom van Gessel, and Floris Roelofsen, pp. 445-454.
"Alternative Representations in Formal Semantics: A case study of quantifiers"
Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, Gert-Jan Munneke, and Jakub Szymanik, Proceedings of the 20th Amsterdam Colloquium, eds. Thomas Brochhagen, Floris Roelofsen, and Nadine Thelier, pp. 368-379.
"Informational Dynamics of `Might' Assertions"
Peter Hawke and Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, Proceedings of Logic, Rationality, and Interaction (LORI-V), eds. Wiebe van der Hoek, Wes Holliday, and Wen-fang Wang, pp. 143-155.
"Learning to Use Function Words in Signaling Games"
Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, Proceedings of Information Dynamics in Artificial Societies (IDAS-14), eds. Emiliano Lorini and Laurent Perrussel.
"Automata and Complexity in Multiple-Quantifier Sentence Verification"
Jakub Szymanik, Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, Marcin Zajenkowski, and Thomas F. Icard, III., Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Cognitive Modeling (ICCM).
"Ontological Labels for Automated Location of Left-Ventricular Remodeling"
Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, Siamak Ardekani, Jose L.V. Mejino, Landon Todd Detwiler, James F. Brinkley, Michael Halle, Ron Kikinis, Raimond L. Winslow, Michael I. Miller, and J. Tilak Ratnanather, Proceedings of 2011 Fifth IEEE International Conference on Semantic Computing, pp. 572- 573.
Peter Hawke and Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, paper on epistemic modals, under revision.
Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, Emmanuel Chemla and Philippe Schlenker, paper on the evolution of general calls and scalar reasoning, under review.
Shane Steinert-Threlkeld and Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld, "Social Network Structure and the Repression-Dissent Puzzle", under review.
Milica Denic, Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, Jakub Szymanik, paper on semantic typology of indefinites, under review.
Nur Lan, Emmanuel Chemla, Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, paper on emergence of discrete signals, under review.
Jaap Jumelet, Milica Denic, Dieuwke Hupkes, Jakub Szymanik, Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, paper on language models' understanding of NPIs, under review.
Sonia Ramotowska, Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, Leendert van Maanen and Jakub Szymanik, experimental paper on "most" vs "more than half", in prep.
Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, "Communication and Computation: New Questions About Compositionality", PhD Dissertation, Stanford University (reprinted as ILLC Dissertation Series 2017-05).
Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, "Lambda Calculi", Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Shane Steinert-Threlkeld and J Tilak Ratnanather, "Open standards, web-based mathlets: making interactive tutorials using the html5 canvas element, Loci/JOMA.
My Erdös Number is 4, via at least three paths: