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My research focuses on various facets of meaning in natural language, and how they fit together: what we can say about the conventional meaning of our words (whether they be in English, Tagalog, or Hungarian), and about the various ways in which a speaker might use those words to convey something beyond their conventional meaning, by relying on the context of utterance, for example, or by speaking metaphorically. More specifically, my recent research has focused on the following three research strands:

  • the semantics of proper names and indexical expressions (like ‘I’, ‘here’); Kripke on the meaning and reference of proper names; a post-Kripkean development: direct reference theory; presuppositional accounts of proper names in linguistics and philosophy;
    • within the proper names strand, a special emphasis on fictional names (like ‘Anna Karenina’), and, more broadly, names without referents (fictional as well as nonfictional); the semantics and metaphysics of fictional discourse;
  • Gricean and neo-Gricean accounts of meaning and communication in philosophy and linguistics; Sperber & Wilson’s Relevance Theory;
    • Within this strand, a special emphasis on theories of figurative discourse within analytic philosophy, especially theories of metaphor;
  • the semantics of modality, especially deontic modality (about laws and obligations), Kratzer’s benchmark possible worlds semantics of modality within the formal semantics literature.

You can find preprints of my work here. I regularly update my philpapers.org, academia.edu, ResearchGate and mtmt.hu profiles also.

Google Scholar citations


I'm principal investigator for a 4-year grant entitled "Meaning, Communication: Literal, FIgurative: Contemporary Issues in Philosophy of Language" Grant No. K-116191, received from the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA-NKFIH), 2016-2020.

  • Grant participants: Tibor Bárány, István Danka, Szilvia Finta, László Kálmán, Gábor Kovács, Judit Kuti, Réka Markovich, Miklós Márton, Cecilia Molnár, Dávid Such, Katalin Tihanyi.
  • Our opening project for this grant: a (2015/2016) anthology of essays (2015/2016) to which many of the grant participants contributed (in Hungarian), "Metaphor, Relevance, Meaning" (editors: Bárány, Zvolenszky, Tőzsér).

I'm also participating senior researcher and co-applicant in a
4-year grant entitled "Integrative Argumentation Studies" Grant no. K-109456 (received from the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund, OTKA-NKFIH), based at the Department of Philosophy and the History of Science, Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME), (principal investigator: Gábor Zemplén), 2013-2017.

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