Lewis Bott is a Senior Lecturer at School of Psychology at Cardiff University. Bott studies how we understand and process language. When we communicate, we do not hear sentences in isolation from what has gone on before in a discourse, nor in isolation from our knowledge of who the speaker is, what they know etc. Rather, the sentence is made in the context of a set of assumptions about what the speaker knows and what they might be trying to communicate. These assumptions allow us to make inferences about what the speaker meant but did not explicitly say. For example, if a letter of recommendation says only that a student was punctual for his classes, there can be an implication that the student’s academic performance was poor; or, saying, “not ALL of the cakes have been eaten,” implies that there are some cakes that are still available. His interest is in how people incorporate communicative assumptions into sentence representations to generate implications like these. Bott uses psycholinguistic techniques such as priming, mousetracking, eyetracking and speeded verification judgements to understand the processing of pragmatic phenomena.
He teaches Cognitive Psychology throughout the undergraduate degree programme (PS2015, PS2003 and the Final Year Project). He covers Language in the first semester of Level 2 and Information Processing in the third semester. Bott also offers final year projects on Language Comprehension, and Concepts and Categories.
His school duties involve being a part of the Admissions team and the International Student Officer.
His publications include:
- Chemla, E. and Bott, L. (2014). Processing inferences at the semantics/pragmatics frontier: Disjunctions and free choice. Cognition, 130(3), 380-396. (10.1016/j.cognition.2013.11.013)
- Chemla, E. and Bott, L. (2013). Processing presuppositions: dynamic semantics vs pragmatic enrichment. Language and Cognitive Processes, 28(3), 241-260. (10.1080/01690965.2011.615221)
- Tomlinson, J. M., Bailey, T. M. and Bott, L. (2013). Possibly all of that and then some: scalar implicatures are understood in two steps. Journal of Memory and Language, 89(1), 18-35. (10.1016/j.jml.2013.02.003)
Credits to Cardiff University
Published: 03 November 2014
Last update: 28 February 2015