Wataru Uegaki


  • Linguistics and English Language
  • School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

Contact details



[I am currently working from home]
Room 2.10, Dugald Stewart Building

3 Charles Street, Edinburgh
Post code


  • Please email me to schedule an appointment.


I am a Lecturer in Semantics at in the Department of Linguistics and English Language (LEL) within the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences (PPLS). I also serve as the leader of the NWO international collaboration project '’Searching for semantic universals in the modal domain’’. I completed my PhD at MIT Linguistics in 2015, and was previously at Leiden University.

I teach semantics in various pre-honours, honours, and MSc courses within LEL. In my research, I investigate issues in natural language semantics and pragmatics, as well as in syntax-semantics interface. Please click on the Research tab below to learn more about my research. 

Undergraduate teaching

  • Course Organiser, pre-honours "Linguistics and English Language 1B" 
  • Contributor, "Linguistics and English Language 2A" (semantics block) 

Postgraduate teaching

  • MSc "Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics" (not offered in 2020-21)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Current PhD students supervised

  • Takanobu Nakamura

Research summary

I am a researcher of formal semantics and pragmatics. That is, I study how humans draw various inferences from conversations in natural language, and I try to understand systems governing such human behaviors using theoretical tools made available by linguisticslogic and cognitive science.

Specifically, I am interested in the relationship between word meanings and grammatical rules. My MIT PhD dissertation "Interpreting questions under attitudes" addresses a family of puzzles concerning how the meanings of the so-called propositional attitude verbs (such as "believe", "know", "surprise" and "wonder") are related to the types of complement clauses they can combine with (for example, whether the verb can combine with a question or not).

Current research interests

I am interested in the distinction between ‘logical’ words (such as "every" and "or") and ‘non-logical’ words (such as "walk" and "bird"). Is there a fundamental distinction between how these two kinds of word meanings are represented in our mind? I try to address this question by investigating the manifestation of this distinction in syntax-semantics interface (i.e., the relationship between meaning and grammar) and cross-linguistic universals in word meanings (i.e., what kind of common properties hold for word meanings across languages).

View all 24 publications on Research Explorer