Muffy E. A. Siegel
Muffy E. A. Siegel was educated at Swarthmore College, the University of St. Petersburg in Russia, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she received a PhD in theoretical linguistics in 1976. She taught at San Diego State University before joining the Temple faculty in 1977. Once at Temple, she helped to create, and then for ten years directed, the inter-collegial Temple Program in Linguistics. In 1998, she organized the Philadelphia Semantics Society, a regional faculty research group. Siegel has also lectured on semantics at the University of Pennsylvania and Haverford College and taught a course in linguistic stylistics at Swarthmore College.
Siegel’s main research interests involve the interfaces among syntax, semantics, discourse and pragmatics. She presented the first complete formal treatment of the syntax/semantics of adjectives in her book Capturing the Adjective (Academic Press) and has continued to work on other problems of theoretical interest in journal articles on such topics as gapping, modal scope, unusual pro-forms, and discourse particles. Her article on the formal semantics of the teen slang word “like” (“Like: The Discourse Particle and Semantics,” Journal of Semantics 19.1) attracted national and international media attention in 2002. Siegel has also published articles on teaching writing, linguistic stylistics, and child acquisition of morphology, as well as some poetry, and co-edited a book on writing in different professions, Writing Talks (Boynton-Cook). Her most recent publications are on the development of “dude” (“Dude, Katie!” Verbatim, The Language Quarterly 30.4, 2005), the role of conversational maxims in the interpretation of courtroom evidence (“Finding Conversational Facts,” The International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law 12.2, 2005), apparently illocutionary conditionals (“Biscuit Conditionals,” 29.2, 2006), and on how current undergraduates make use of dictionaries (“What Do You Do with a Dictionary? A Study of Undergraduate Dictionary Use,” Dictionaries, 28.2007). She is currently working on the semantics/pragmatics of non-real place adverbials such as “on some other planet.”