Winner of the 2023 E. W. Beth Dissertation Prize

We are pleased to announce the winner of the 2023 E.W. Beth Dissertation Prize:

Gabriele Vanoni, On Reasonable Space and Time Cost Models for the λ-Calculus, University of Bologna

The finalists for the prize are:

  • Jim de Groot, Dualities in Modal Logic, Austrailian National University,
  • Dakotah Lambert,  Unifying Classification Schemes for Languages and Processes with Attention to Locality and Relativizations Thereof, Stony Brook University

Winner of 2022 E.W. Beth Dissertation Prize Announced

We are pleased to announce the winner of the 2022 E.W. Beth Dissertation Prize:

Alexander Bentkamp,  Superposition for Higher-Order Logics,  VU Amsterdam

The finalists for the prize are:

  • Vrunda DaveOn Some Fundamental Problems and Applications of Word Transducers,  IIT Bombay
  • Markus Hecher,  Advanced Tools and Methods for Treewidth-Based Problem Solving, Vienna University of Technology
  • Jonathan SterlingFirst Steps in Synthetic Tait Computability, The Objective Metatheory of Cubical Type Theory, Carnegie Melon University
  • Elodie WinckelFrench Subject Islands: Empirical and Formal Approaches,  Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Final Call and Deadline Extension for Nominations: E. W. Beth Outstanding Dissertation Prize 2022

Final Call and Deadline Extension for Beth Outstanding Dissertation Prize 2022

Extended Deadline: 30th of April 2022.

Since 1998, the Association for Logic, Language, and Information (FoLLI) has been awarding the annual E.W. Beth Dissertation Prize to outstanding Ph.D. dissertations in Logic, Language, and Information (, with financial support of the E.W. Beth Foundation (

In accordance with the aim of the Beth Foundation to continue and extend the work of the Dutch logician Evert Willem Beth, nominations are invited of outstanding dissertations on topics in the broad remit of ESSLLI, in logic, language, information and computation. Interdisciplinary dissertations with results impacting various of these research areas in their investigations are especially solicited. Nominations are now invited for outstanding dissertations in these areas resulting in a Ph.D. degree awarded in 2021.

The deadline for nominations is the 30th of April 2022.


– A Ph.D. dissertation on a related topic is eligible for the Beth Dissertation Prize 2022, if the degree was awarded between January 1st and December 31st, 2021.
– There are no restrictions on the nationality, ethnicity, age, gender or employment status of the author of the nominated dissertation, nor on the university, academic department or scientific institution formally conferring the Ph.D. degree, nor on the language in which the dissertation has originally been written.
– If a nominated dissertation has originally been written in a language other than English, its file should still contain the required 10 page English abstract, see below. If the committee decides that a nominated dissertation in a language other than English requires translation to English for proper evaluation, the committee can transfer its nomination to the competition in 2023. The English translation must in such cases be submitted before the deadline of the call for nominations in 2023. The committee may recommend the Beth Foundation to consider supporting such nominated dissertations for English translation, upon request by the author of the dissertation.

The prize consists of:
– a certificate
– a donation of 3000 euros, provided by the E.W. Beth Foundation, divided among the winners, should there be more than one winner
– an invitation to submit the dissertation, possibly after revision, for publication in FoLLI Publications on Logic, Language and Information (Springer).

Only digital submissions are accepted, without exception. Hard copy submissions are not allowed. The following documents are to be submitted in a single nomination file in zip format:

– The original dissertation in pdf format (ps/doc/rtf etc. not acceptable).
– A ten-page English abstract of the dissertation, presenting the main results of each chapter.
– A letter of nomination from the dissertation supervisor, which concisely describes the scope and significance of the dissertation, stating when the degree was officially awarded and the members of the Ph.D. committee. Nominations should contain the address, phone and email details of the nominator.
– Two additional letters of support, including at least one from a referee not affiliated with the academic institution that awarded the Ph.D. degree, nor otherwise related to the nominee (e.g. former teachers, supervisors, co-authors, publishers or relatives) or the dissertation.
– Self-nominations are not possible.

All pdf documents must be submitted electronically, as one zip file, via EasyChair by following the link In case of any problems or questions please contact the chair of the committee Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh (

The prize will be awarded by the chair of the FoLLI board at a ceremony during the 33rd ESSLLI summer school, in Galway, August 8-19, 2021.

Beth dissertation prize committee 2022:

Maria Aloni (University of Amsterdam)
Cleo Condoravdi(Stanford University)
Robin Cooper (University of Gothenburg)
Guy Emerson (University of Cambridge)
Katrin Erk (University of Texas at Austin)
Tim Fernando (Trinity College Dublin)
Christoph Haase (University of Oxford)
Reinhard Muskens (University of Amsterdam)
Francesca Poggiolesi (CNRS, IHPST, University of Paris 1)
Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh (University College London, chair)
Ana Sokolova (University of Salzburg)
Carla Umbach (University of Koeln)
Jouko Vaananen (University of Helsinki and University of Amsterdam)

FoLLI is committed to diversity and inclusion and we welcome dissertations from all under-represented groups.

FoLLI AGM on the 9th of September 18:00 CEST

FoLLI AGM will be held on the 9th of September 2021 at 18:00-19:00 CEST. On the agenda is the report of the FoLLI board and voting on the updated statutes and bylaws. The proposed new versions of both documents and the changes compared to the previous versions of statutes and bylaws are in the previous news item (below).

You can join the meeting remotely on Zoom. If you would like to attend, please register at the following link by midnight CEST on the 7th of September:

You should not need a google account to access the form, and the only information collected is your name and email address. The Zoom link and the password will be sent to the email addresses of the people who registered for the AGM. Please let know if you have trouble with the form, or if you do not get an email with the Zoom link by 18:00 CEST on the 8th of September.

FoLLI meeting on the 29th of July

There will be a meeting of FoLLI on Thursday, July 29, at 18:00 CEST,
on Zoom. To join, follow links from
The meeting passcode is sent to the mailing list.

The meeting is open to all ESSLLI participants and FoLLI members.
The President of FoLLI, Larry Moss, will give a brief overview of what FoLLI
is, and announce the Annual General Meeting which will be held on
Thursday, September 9 18:00-19:00 CEST.

FoLLI Statutes and Bylaws have been unchanged for many years and need to
be updated to confirm with the Dutch legislation (FoLLI is registered in
the Netherlands). In the meeting on the 29th July, new versions of the
Statutes and Bylaws (attached) will be presented by Benedikt Löwe. The
summary of changes written by Benedikt Löwe is below.
At the AGM on the 9th of September, members of FoLLI will vote on whether to
accept the new versions.


Article 1. No changes.

Article 2. Old statutes had a paragraph that listed concrete projects some of which were obsolete (such as the book series). We removed that paragraph since it is not wise to have a specific list of concrete projects in the statutes.

Article 3. No changes.

Article 4. The 2007 statutes had removed the Vice President. The new version has restored the office of Vice President (as has been the practice of FoLLI for the last ten years).

Article 5. The 2007 had a structure of the Board that did not correspond to the current practice and also included an office called “manager of the bureau” which had not been used. The new version describes the structure of the Board precisely as it has been the practice of FoLLI in the last decade.

The 2007 allowed for postal vote for Board members, but that is not in line with Dutch law and had to be removed. (The formulation is mandatory.)

Items 5 & 6 had to be added due to Dutch legal regulations.

(Former Article 6 about the “Scientific council” was deleted since FoLLI never had such a body in practice.)

(Former Article 7 about “Working groups” was deleted since there has never been a formal working group structure.)

Article 6 (former Article 8) was adapted to current practice allowing for members to participate by video-conference with a mandatory formulation. Since Dutch law required the removal of postal votes (cf. comment on Article 5), item 6 was added which allows the Board to allow members to submit proxy votes, giving maximal flexibility tp arrange the elections within the constraints of the Dutch law.

Article 7 (former Article 9). This article was modernised and a requirement to have a proposal supported by at least five members was added.

Article 8. No changes.

Article 9. No changes.


B Y – L A W S

Article I. Sentence about the Dutch version of the Statutes added. Item about the “principal office of FoLLI” deleted since this does not exist.

Article II. Wording modified to replace the (obsolete) role of the “Manager of the Bureau” with the Secretary. A few items whose intention was unclear (about reinstatement and transferral of membership) were deleted.

The 2007 By-Laws stated that the membership list would be made available to the members; this is not in line with current privacy regulations and was deleted.

Article III. Some changes to remove inconsistencies and clarify wording. No substantial changes. An item about the quorum was removed at the request of the Notary (properly announced General Meetings are always quorate).

Article IV. A large part of this article in the 2007 By-Laws was repeating the Statutes. This text was removed and the text was adapted to be consistent with the Statutes. The “Election Committee” is a new addition.
Text relating to physical meetings of the Board was removed.

Article V. Again, text and entire items that were repeating the Statutes were deleted. The rest of the text was adapted to be consistent with the Statutes. The 2007 By-Laws had an item that allowed the Board to create new offices and appoint officers: this was removed. Instead, the new item 5. that allows the Board to delegate duties was added.

Article VI. The 2007 statutes gave “working groups” a formal statutory status; this was removed and replaced with a general statement about forming committees and working groups. Working groups still have ex officio Board members and the central role of the ESSLLI Standing Committee is now fixed in the By-Laws by item 3.

An item that referred to the Council was removed since this never existed.

Article VII. Mostly unchanged, though an item dealing with checks was deleted as obsolete.

Article VIII. No changes.

Article IX. The period of making announcements about planned changes was changed from 60 days to 15 days (to be in line with the same period for the statutes).




Call For Participation

32nd European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information – ESSLLI 2021

26 July -14 August, 2021, Online


We are happy to announce that ESSLLI 2021 will be held as an online event in the period 26 July-14 August. The school offers an excellent program of courses and workshops and the well established Student SessionIn view of the online format, the program is spread over three weeks so as to facilitate attendance.

Details on the schedule will be posted on the website shortly.

We plan to open the registration by the end of April 2021.

Raffaella Bernardi, Michael Moortgat and Diego Calvanese

R.I.P. Richard T. Oehrle (June 18, 1946 – February 21, 2018)

With sadness we have learned that Dick Oehrle has passed away on February 21, after a two-year illness.

Richard T. Oehrle (or Dick, as he was known to all) attended Harvard College, Columbia University, and finally MIT, where he obtained his PhD in 1976 for a thesis “The Grammatical Status of the English Dative Alternation” supervised by Morris Halle. Dick spent most of his academic career as a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Arizona in Tuscon. Before that, he held positions at Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania, and a visiting fellowship at Groningen University. Eventually Dick followed his wife Susan Steele to the Bay Area, where he worked as a computational linguist.

Dick’s research spanned an unusually wide variety of linguistic areas: phonology, prosody, syntax and semantics. But perhaps he will be remembered most for his work on categorial grammar and related formalisms. His pioneering work in the eighties and nineties greatly contributed to the renewal of interest in categorial type logics. The 1985 Tucson conference he co-organized, and the volume based on it (“Categorial Grammars and Natural Language Structures”, Reidel, 1988), were landmarks in this respect. His proposal of adding a prosodic dimension to categorial types (“Term labelled categorial type systems”, L&P 17, 1994) has proved to be a source of inspiration for many researchers up to the present day. His entry on Categorial Grammar in the Oxford International Encyclopedia of Linguistics testifies to the recognition for his work in this area.

On a broader plane, Dick was one of the driving forces in creating the thriving ‘Logic and Language’ scene we see today. He organized a number of the Logic and Linguistics meetings of the Association for Symbolic Logic/Linguistic Society of America, and contributed courses and workshops to LSA Summer Institutes. In addition, he served as President of the Association for the Mathematics of Language (MoL) and was a co-founder of the Formal Grammar conference series. The ESSLLI Summer Schools, with their hearty mix of themes from logic, language and computation, Dick considered as his natural intellectual habitat. From the early days on (Leuven, 1990), he was a regular visitor at ESSLLI, as a lecturer and workshop contributor.

Dick was a highly-esteemed researcher in many areas of linguistics and a much loved member of our community. He will be remembered as an original thinker with a very kind side, an inspiration to everyone he knew. His memory will live on in the hearts of many. He leaves behind his wife Susan, two children and three grandchildren. We share in their grief.

On behalf of the FoLLI board,
Michael Moortgat and Larry Moss

Brief personal reactions from colleagues:

Johan van Benthem:

Dick Oehrle was a well-informed, broad-minded and invariably supportive colleague who helped make the categorial grammar community a pleasant home for many. Dick provided a crucial publishing platform for my papers on the logic of type-shifting grammars, and he was one of those welcoming congenial faces that made my early visits to America so natural and productive. Every conversation with him was fresh and worthwhile. I am sure that many others have had the same experiences, and feel the same sense of loss now that Dick has passed away.

Raffaella Bernardi:

Dick is one of those people who will never die. His ideas will stay with us and so his energy and enthusiasm. In all our meetings Dick has given me energy and hope. I have always admired his mixture of excellence and simplicity, his ability to find something positive in all circumstance, his attitude to enjoy life andscience. I have memories of him in Utrecht, Rome, Pescara, Boston, and in all these places I see him smiling with sparkling eyes full of joy. This is how I think of him: as a person who had light inside for him and for whoever had the luck to meet him.

Paul Dekker:

I cannot imagine my scholarly life without ESSLLI, and I cannot imagine ESSLLI without Dick Oehrle. If one should ever have had any doubts about doing logic, linguistics or computation, one should just have run into Dick Oehrle. And if one should ever have had not any doubts about it, one should just have run into Dick Oehrle. Dick was the type of man that knows where he is, what he is doing there, and knows why he is doing it, at least sufficiently. His contributions to the fields are broad and lasting, and even more was his personal presence: overwhelming, but modest and in T-shirt. For those who thought who knew him: Dick has co-authored a publication in the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, on how to establish communication with extra-terrestrial alien civilizations, using the language of SCIENCE and MATHEMATICS. It is in the mathematics of language that indeed we will most remember him, but I am very grateful that I may actually remember him in person.

Philippe de Groote:

I knew that Dick Oehrle was seriously ill, but when I learned that he passed away I remained voiceless. Then, the first words that came to my mind were: “Dick, une si belle personne, un si bel esprit!” (Dick, such a nice person, such a beautiful mind). I do not think there is anything to add. Everything is said.

Ed Keenan:

Dick Oehrle – a fine person, the finest. And a good friend, the best. Considerate, generous, adaptable, helpful, smart as hell. We’ll miss you Dick – your concern, your solidity, your unselfishness. We’ll miss you at conferences and summer schools. We’ll miss you in Arizona, in Holland, in California. We had a lot of laughs once at one of the ESSLI’s – we both smoked for a week and then quit cold turkey at the end of the last lecture. We now stand a little less tall without you.

Michael Moortgat:

When I got to know Dick, I was in my twenties. His views on logic, math and language were new to me then, and enchanting. From a mentor he became a friend. He was a person of great learning and culture, always worn lightly. Provided there was dark chocolate around (Callebaut!), and espresso coffee, a conversation with Dick could move effortlessly from linguistics to a fine point in a Haydn sonata (promptly illustrated at the piano) or the uncanny resemblance between a revealing Velasquez portrait and someone we both knew. His sense of adventure never left him, and went well beyond the academic: for his 70th birthday, he jumped out of a plane, skydiving with his son. Above all, he was extremely kind and generous. I will miss him dearly.

Glyn Morrill:

I knew Dick for 25 years; he was a gentle man and philosophically ahead of his time. He was instrumental in the renaissance of categorial grammar and remained at the forefront of the field to the end of his life. In my foolish youth there was something that puzzled me. He always seemed more concerned to cultivate good relations with others than to insist on the superiority of his scientific point of view. His scientific point of view was superior, but he knew better what really mattered. An innovator, he was a Gentleman and a Scholar of the Old School.

Larry Moss:

In the 1990’s Dick Oehrle was a generous participant and leader in the Mathematics of Language research community. My personal connections to Dick stem from that era. I think of Dick with admiration and gratitude. He was a linguist’s linguist and was encouraging to all. He’ll be missed by many.

Reinhard Muskens:

I admired Dick for many things. He could find an abstract pattern in a set of linguistic data bewildering to others and he could turn that abstract pattern into formal machinery, for others to understand. His deep insight led to the multidimensional approach to categorial grammar and linguistic theory. He was the most patient, kind, and scholarly of editors. He was fun to talk to over a glass of Guiness, and I now regret that, because of the distance, we did not have more occasions to meet in person. Dick was a wonderful guy who will be sorely missed.

Valeria de Paiva:

My personal experience of Dick Oehrle was very limited. I interviewed for a job with him at Cataphora, which I didn’t get, in 2012. But still his kindness and willingness to engage in serious debate even in the setting of a job interview in Silicon Valley made a very positive impression on me. Of course I knew about his work from a long way back and in many ways that is his most lasting influence. His book “Categorial Grammars and Natural Language Structures ” helped to show a lot of us that categorial grammars could be seen as logic and that logicians could and should be engaging more with linguists of several stripes, a lesson I did take to heart.

Anna Szabolcsi:

Dick was one of the clearest, most versatile, and most helpful colleagues that I have known. His ideas on English syntax just as on Lambek Grammar were enlightening, creative, precisely to the point, and delivered with great flair. I am lucky to have learned from his work and to have interacted with him.

Tom Wasow:

I have spent my entire adult life around amazingly smart people, and I can think of few people I have met who could match Dick for insight and creativity. But he had a frustrating way of communicating those insights in cryptic ways. During the years when we were colleagues with adjacent offices (in the mid-1970s), I remember on several occasions discussing with him some linguistic issue I was puzzling over, and coming away from the discussion feeling more confused than when I started. But then, a few days later, I would have an insight about the issue we had been talking about, and I could trace that insight back to something Dick had said that had baffled me at the time. I think I did my best work as a generative grammarian during the years his office was next to mine.

Nissim Francez:

In 1997, Michael Moortgat introduced me to type-logical grammar during a partial sabbatical spent with him in Utrecht. Soon after, I learned about Dick, and started to read his papers and book. I have immediately realised how inspiring his writings were, and started to correspond with him on various issues related to TLG. He always answered, always informatively and in a helpful way. Later, I met him several times in ESSLLI, and got to like him personally very much. Our longest meeting was in Montpellier in 2004, in a categorial grammar conference. There, I had the opportunity to conduct longer conversations, both on scientific and personal matters. We kept corresponding, until I switched topics and moved to proof-theoretical semantics, after which our contact loosened, and I did not know about his illness. I will remember him as an inspiring and cheerful person.

See also these announcements: