Edinburgh Research Explorer

Prof Alex Lascarides

Personal Chair in Semantics

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Willingness to take Ph.D. students: Yes

Research Interests

Prof. Alex Lascarides' research is in theoretical and computational linguistics. Most of her work is in formal semantics and pragmatics, although she has also applied machine learning techniques to various interpretation tasks.

Prof. Lascarides has been mainly interested in natural language interpretation, focusing on modelling discourse coherence and its interaction with semantics. She is involved in developing formal models of semantics that use techniques from common sense reasoning, dynamic semantics and semantic underspecification. Prof. Lascarides is also involved in building dialogue systems, using a combination of symbolic and statistical methods.


1981-1984University of Durham
 BSc Mathematics, Class I
1984-1985University of Edinburgh
 MSc Cognitive Science
1985-1988University of Edinburgh
 PhD Cognitive Science
 Thesis Title: A Formal Semantic Analysis of hte Progressive.


Prof. Alex Lascarides studied Mathematics at Durham, graduating in 1984. While doing her maths degree, she also took options in philosophy and logic, and found that she enjoyed engaging in work that combines insights from the sciences and humanties. This developed into an interest in Cognitive Science, and she came to Edinburgh to do her Masters and PhD because of its reputation in inter-disciplinary research. She found the research environment in Edinburgh so
stimulating and the city itself so attractive that she has stayed in Edinburgh ever since---other than one year spent at Stanford as a visiting assistant professor---first as a postdoctoral fellow and then as a lecturer, reader and professor.

Prof. Lascarides' research interests are in modelling discourse and dialogue, including face to face dialogues where people gesture as well as speak, and non-cooperative dialogues where people may be deceptive and unhelpful in other ways.

Research outputs

  1. Aligning Speech and Co-speech Gesture in a Constraint-based Grammar

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Grounding Symbols in Multi-Modal Instructions

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  3. Evaluating Persuasion Strategies and Deep Reinforcement Learning methods for Negotiation Dialogue agents

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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