Vagueness facilitates search

Kees van Deemter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper addresses the question why language is vague. A novel answer to this question is proposed, which complements other
answers suggested in the literature. It claims that vagueness can facilitate search, particularly in quasi-continuous domains (such as physical size, colour, or temperature), given that different speakers are likely to attach subtly different meanings to words (such as “tall”, “blue”, or “hot”) defined over such domains.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLogic, Language and Meaning
Subtitle of host publication7th Amsterdam Colloquium, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, December 16-18, 2009, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsMaria Aloni, Harald Bastiaanse, Tikitu de Jager, Katrin Schulz
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherSpringer Lecture Notes
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-3-642-14286-4, 3-642-14286-9
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2010

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
ISSN (Print)0302-9743


  • vague predicates
  • utility
  • search


Dive into the research topics of 'Vagueness facilitates search'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this