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Department of Philosophy


Anne Bezuidenhout

Title: Professor
Department: Philosophy & Linguistics
College of Arts and Sciences
Office: Close-Hipp 530
Resources: Curriculum Vitae
Department of Philosophy
Linguistics Program 
Department of Psychology
Anne Bezuidenhout


I received my Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1990 and have been employed at the University of South Carolina Department of Philosophy since August 1990. I was promoted to my current rank of Full Professor in 2008. I have been a Core Member of the Linguistics Program since 1992 and I have been an affiliated member of the Institute of Mind and Brain since its inception in 2013.

Research Interests

 I work in philosophy of language and on topics at the semantics-pragmatics interface. I am interested in phenomena such as presuppositions and conversational implicatures, which I study using both formal and experimental methods. My experimental pragmatics work has looked at scalar implicatures and at the role that discourse-level information plays in anaphoric pronoun resolution. I am currently interested in the processing of non-restrictive relative clauses (and parentheticals more generally). I am investigating the conditions under which material that is backgrounded/ not-at-issue can become foregrounded/ at-issue. My formal work is focused on perspective taking in conversation and on the notions of foregrounding and backgrounding of information in conversation and in what I call the process of ‘conversational tailoring’. I also have a project investigating novel noun-noun compound words and the process of "enriched composition" that is needed for their comprehension.

Courses Taught AY 2020-21

  •  Introduction to Formal Logic I (PHIL 114)
  • Introduction to Formal Logic II (PHIL 115)
  • Figurative Language (PHIL 370/ LING 405)
  • Knowledge and Reality (PHIL 350)

Recent Publications

  • Bezuidenhout, A. (2020). The referential-attributive distinction, in Stephen Biggs & Heimir Geirsson (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Reference, London: Routledge, pp. 53-70
  • Bezuidenhout, A. (2019). ‘Noun-noun compounds from the perspective of Relevance Theory’, in R. Carston, B. Clark and K. Scott (eds.), Relevance, Pragmatics and Interpretation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 174-186.
  • Bezuidenhout, A. (2019). ‘Joint reference’ in The Oxford Handbook of Reference, edited by Jeanette Gundel and Barbara Abbott, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.45-66.
  • Bezuidenhout, A. (2017). ‘The role of context in semantics: A Relevance Theory perspective’, in Sarah-Jane Conrad & Klaus Petrus (eds.), Meaning, Context, and Methodology, Mouton Series in Pragmatics, Berlin: de Gruyter, October 2017, pp. 91-114.
  • Bezuidenhout, A. (2017). ‘Contextualism vs. semantic minimalism’, in The Oxford Handbook of Pragmatics, edited by Yan Huang, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, pp. 21-46.

Editorial Duties and Service

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.