Angelika Kratzer’s area of specialisation is Semantics, an interdisciplinary field located at the intersection of Linguistics, Cognitive Psychology, Logic and Philosophy. As a semanticist, she is interested in how natural languages construct complex meanings from small and simple pieces. This process involves intricate interactions between several cognitive components that semanticists are probing into using theoretical modeling to generate predictions, and cross-linguistic investigations to establish parameters of variation.
For many years now, Angelika Kratzer has been investigating modal meanings, that is, the way natural languages organise talk about mere possibilities: what might have been, could be, or should be. Notions of what is possible, inevitable, likely or desirable are fundamentally the same and highly systematic across diverse languages and disciplines, and this is why this area of research has attracted the attention of mathematicians, logicians, psychologists, legal scholars and philosophers.
Angelika Kratzer received her PhD from the University of Konstanz (Germany). She is Professor Emerita at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a fellow of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
At UCL, Angelika Kratzer will do collaborative research on the foundations of modal meanings, and will continue her ongoing work on attitude ascriptions, sentential complementation and embedded moods.