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Summary Dynamic semantics is a type of semantic theory originally developed in the early 1980s by Irene Heim and Hans Kamp (independently).  The  basic idea of dynamic semantics is that the meanings of sentences are not propositions but rather functions that alter the context.  This form of semantics was developed originally to handle anaphora and presupposition, but has been extended to cover many other semantic and pragmatic phenomena.  We include Discourse Representation Theory under the rubric of dynamic semantics here.
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  1. Nicholas Asher, Ambiguity and Anaphora with Plurals in Discourse.
    We provide examples of plurals related to ambiguity and anaphora that pose problems or are counterexamples for current approaches to plurals. We then propose a dynamic semantics based on an extension of dynamic predicate logic (DPL+) to handle these examples. On our theory, different readings of sentences or discourses containing plurals don’t arise from a postulated ambiguity of plural terms or predicates applying to plural DPs, but follow rather from different types of dynamic transitions that manipulate inputs and outputs from (...)
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  2. S. J. Barker (1997). E-Type Pronouns, DRT, Dynamic Semantics and the Quantifier/Variable-Binding Model. Linguistics and Philosophy 20 (2):195-228.
  3. Corien Bary & Emar Maier (2009). The Dynamics of Tense Under Attitudes: Anaphoricity and de Se Interpretation in the Backward Shifted Past. In Hattori et al (ed.), New Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence. Springer. 146--160.
    Shows that both anaphoricity and egocentric de se binding play a crucial role in the interpretation of tense in discourse. Uses the English backwards shifted reading of the past tense in a mistaken time scenario to bring out the tension between these two features. Provides a suitable representational framework for the observed clash in the form of an extension of DRT in which updates of the common ground are accompanied by updates of each relevant agent's complex attitudinal state.
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  4. Peter beim Graben (2006). Pragmatic Information in Dynamic Semantics. Mind and Matter 4 (2):169-193.
    In 1972,Ernst Ulrich and Christine von Weizs ¨acker introduced the concept of pragmatic information with three desiderata:(i) Pragmatic information should assess the impact of a message upon its receiver;(ii)Pragmatic information should vanish in the limits of complete (non-interpretable)'novelty 'and complete 'confirmation';(iii)Pragmatic information should exhibit non-classical properties since novelty and confirmation behave similarly to Fourier pairs of complementary operators in quantum mechanics. It will be shown how these three desiderata can be naturally fulfilled within the framework of Gardenfors' dynamic semantics of (...)
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  5. Maria Bittner, Mood-Based Temporal Reference.
    Last time we introduced the notion of an illocutionary perspective . The basic idea is that the very act of speaking up introduces several discourse referents. The speech act itself (e ) is introduced as the central perspective point ( ε ). In addition, all the speech spheres (p ) where this speech act is realized, as well as the worlds of each sphere (w ∈p ) are introduced as modal topics ( Ω and  ω ).
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  6. Maria Bittner, Mood as Illocutionary Centering.
    By this point, we have developed some articulated analyses of top-level temporal anaphora, including temporal quantification, in languages with grammatical tense and/or aspect systems, represented by English, Polish, and Mandarin. But it is still not clear how this approach might extend to temporal anaphora in a language such as Kalaallisut, which has neither grammatical tense nor grammatical aspect, but instead marks only grammatical mood and person. Most theories of mood and modal reference either ignore temporal reference (e.g. Hamblin 1973, Stalnaker (...)
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  7. Maria Bittner, Anaphora Without Indices: Dynamics of Centering.
    The standard way to represent anaphoric dependencies is to co-index the anaphor with its antecedent in the syntactic input to semantic rules, which then interpret such indices as variables. Dynamic theories (e.g. Kamp’s DRT, Heim’s File Change Semantics, Muskens’s Compositional DRT, etc) combine syntactic co-indexation with semantic left-to-right asymmetry. This captures the fact that the anaphor gets its referent from the antecedent and not vice versa. Formally, a text updates the input state of information to the output state. In particular, (...)
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  8. Maria Bittner, Aspect as Eventuality Centering: English and Polish.
    Last time we saw that grammatical tenses anaphorically refer to top-ranked times or time-valued functions of top-ranked events, just like grammatical person markers anaphorically refer to top-ranked individuals or invididual-valued functions of top-ranked events. Today we extend this idea to grammatical aspect. Specifically, grammatical aspect marking in English and Polish is analyzed as discourse anaphora to top-ranked eventualities (states or events).
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  9. Maria Bittner, Scope in English: Analysis in CCG+UC2.
    Day 5 of advanced course on "Crosslinguistic compositional semantics" at 2009 LSA Summer Institute at UC Berkeley. Plan for today: (a) Introduction: scope prediction (SA vs. BA), sample data (English vs. Kalaallisut), (b) Analysis of English data.
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  10. Maria Bittner, From Kalaallisut to English: Analysis in CCG+UC2.
    Day 4 of advanced course on "Crosslinguistic compositional semantics" at 2009 LSA Summer Institute at UC Berkeley. Plan to today: (a) Introduction (syn-sem traits of English vs. Kalaallisut, scope corollary), (b) UC1 + event (re)centering = UC2, (c) English and Kalaallisut in CCG+UC2, (d) Analysis of Kalaallisut BA.TO.L (review) vs. English SA.SU.S (new).
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  11. Maria Bittner, Temporal Quantification as Top-Level Anaphora.
    This is part two of our discussion of discourses involving anaphora to and by quantificational expressions of various types. In part one (March 8), we focused on quantification over individuals ("Nominal quantification as top-level anaphora"). In part two (March 22-29), we show that the proposed analysis of quantification, as anaphoric discourse reference to top-ranked sets, automatically generalizes to temporal quantifiers (over times, events, or states).
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  12. Maria Bittner, From Mandarin Texts to Update with Centering.
    Simple Mandarin Chinese texts translated into Update with Centering. Notes toward a directly compositional fragment of Mandarin Chinese, combining Categorial Grammar with Update with Centering, to appear in Bittner (in prep.) "Temporality: Universals and Variation".
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  13. Maria Bittner, Scope in Kalaallisut: Analysis in CCG+UC2.
    Day 6 of advanced course on "Crosslinguistic compositional semantics" at 2009 LSA Summer Institute at UC Berkeley. Plan for today: (a) Review: scope prediction, Kalaallisut data, (b) Analysis of Kalaallisut data, (c) Questions & discussion.
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  14. Maria Bittner, Semantic Composition: Kalaallisut in CCG+UC1.
    Day 3 of advanced course on "Crosslinguistic compositional semantics" at 2009 LSA Summer Institute at UC Berkeley. Plan for the day: (a) Introduction: Toward sun-sem typology (b) CCG+UC1 fragment of Kalaallisut, (c) Kalaallisut BA.TO.L-traits explained.
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  15. Maria Bittner, Sample Derivations in Update with Centering.
    Appendix to lecture notes on "Nominal (re)centering: From Kalaallisut to UC1". Day 2 of advanced course on "Cross-linguistic compositional semantics" at LSA Summer Institute 2009 at UC Berkeley.
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  16. Maria Bittner, Individuals and Possibilities (3): Notes on Issues Raised by Stone & Hardt (1997).
    This is the last of three lectures on anaphoric parallels between individuals and possibilities across languages (IMS, Stuttgart, 2000).
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  17. Maria Bittner, Tense as Temporal Centering.
    Abstract According to an influential theory, English tenses are anaphoric to an aforementioned reference point. This point is sometimes construed as a time (e.g. Reichenbach 1947, Partee 1973, Stone 1997) and sometimes as an event (e.g. Kamp 1979, 1981, Webber 1988). Moreover, some researchers draw semantic parallels between tenses and pronouns (e.g. Partee 1973, 1984, Stone 1997), whereas others draw parallels between tenses and anaphorically anchored (in)definite descriptions (e.g.
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  18. Maria Bittner, Amele Switch Reference as Temporal Recentering.
    Amele (Papuan, New Guinea) is a tense-mood-based language (in the typology of Bittner 2014) with an elaborate system of clause chaining, including switch reference (SR) and serial verb constructions (SVC). This draft analyzes two interlinear Amele texts (from Roberts 2007) in Update with Centering of Bittner (2014). The basic idea is that an SR-chain is a topic-comment sequence about a 'topical development' — i.e. a topic time framing a chain of causally linked events. In contrast, an SVC is a chain (...)
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  19. Maria Bittner (forthcoming). Topic States in Mandarin Discourse. In Michael Opper (ed.), Proceedings of the 25th North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics. Ohio State University.
    I propose that Mandarin 。-sentences (units marked by 。) are aspectual topic-comment sequences, where an initial update (terminating in a pause) introduces a topic state for comment by one or more clauses. Each comment anaphorically refers to the topic state via the aspect feature of the verbal predicate. This proposal explains why Mandarin 。-sentences have controversial boundaries, since speakers may disagree where one topic state ends and the next one begins. It also explains various manifestations of aspect-prominence and topic-prominence in (...)
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  20. Maria Bittner (2014). Perspectival Discourse Referents for Indexicals. In Hannah Greene (ed.), SULA 7: Proceedings of the Seventh Meeting on the Semantics of Under-represented Languages in the Americas (Cornell University, May 4–6, 2012). Createspace. 1–22.
    This paper argues that indexical reference is a species of discourse reference, just like anaphora. Both varieties of discourse reference involve not only context dependence, but also context change. The act of speaking up focuses attention and thereby makes this very speech event available for discourse reference by indexicals. Mentioning something likewise focuses attention, making the mentioned entity available for subsequent discourse reference by anaphors. Empirical evidence is presented from grammatical centering in Kalaallisut and "shifty indexicals" in Slave attitude reports.
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  21. Maria Bittner (2003). Word Order and Incremental Update. In Proceedings from CLS 39-1. CLS.
    The central claim of this paper is that surface-faithful word-by-word update is feasible and desirable, even in languages where word order is supposedly free. As a first step, in sections 1 and 2, I review an argument from Bittner 2001a that semantic composition is not a static process, as in PTQ, but rather a species of anaphoric bridging. But in that case the context-setting role of word order should extend from cross-sentential discourse anaphora to sentence-internal anaphoric composition. This can be (...)
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  22. Maria Bittner (2001). Topical Referents for Individuals and Possibilities. In R. Hastings, B. Jackson & Z. Zvolensky (eds.), Proceedings from SALT XI. CLC.
    Partee (1973) noted anaphoric parallels between English tenses and pronouns. Since then these parallels have been analyzed in terms of type-neutral principles of discourse anaphora. Recently, Stone (1997) extended the anaphoric parallel to English modals. In this paper I extend the story to languages of other types. This evidence also shows that centering parallels are even more detailed than previously recognized. Based on this evidence, I propose a semantic representation language (Logic of Change with Centered Worlds), in which the observed (...)
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  23. Maria Bittner (2001). Surface Composition as Bridging. Journal of Semantics 18 (2):127-177.
    The development of explicit theories of dynamic context change has led to a fundamentally new perspective on the interpretation of discourse. In this paper I show that this development also opens up the possibility of approaching subclausal composition along similar lines. More specifically, I argue that a dynamic theory where type-driven rules apply directly to overt surface structures and fill in missing information by building anaphoric bridges is more faithful to natural language semantics than the classical Montagovian approach.
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  24. Maria Bittner (1999). Concealed Causatives. Natural Language Semantics 7 (1):1-78.
    Crosslinguistically, causative constructions conform to the following generalization: If the causal relation is syntactically concealed, then it is semantically direct. Concealed causatives span a wide syntactic spectrum, ranging from resultative complements in English to causative subjects in Miskitu. A unified type-driven theory is proposed which attributes the understood causal relation—and other elements of constructional meaning—to type lifting operations predictably licensed by type mismatch at LF. The proposal has far-reaching theoretical implications not only for the theory of compositionality and causation, but (...)
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  25. Maria Bittner, Individuals and Possibilities (1): Notes on Stone (1999) 'Reference to Possible Worlds'.
    The first of three lectures on nominal and modal discourse reference across languages (IMS, Stuttgart, 2000).
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  26. Reinhard Blutner (1993). Dynamic Generalized Quantifiers and Existential Sentences in Natural Languages. Journal of Semantics 10 (1):33-64.
    The central topic to be discussed in this paper is the definiteness restriction in there-insertion contexts. Various attempts to explain this definiteness restriction using the standard algebraic framework are discussed (Barwise & Cooper 1981; Keenan 1978; Milsark 1974; Higginbortham 1987; Lappin 1988) and the shortcomings of these attempts are demonstrated. Finally, a new approach to the interpretation of existential there be-sentences is developed within the framework of Groenendijk & Stokhof's (1990) Dynamic Montague Grammar. This approach makes use of a variant (...)
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  27. Johan Bos (2004). Computational Semantics in Discourse: Underspecification, Resolution, and Inference. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 13 (2):139-157.
    In this paper I introduce a formalism for natural language understandingbased on a computational implementation of Discourse RepresentationTheory. The formalism covers a wide variety of semantic phenomena(including scope and lexical ambiguities, anaphora and presupposition),is computationally attractive, and has a genuine inference component. Itcombines a well-established linguistic formalism (DRT) with advancedtechniques to deal with ambiguity (underspecification), and isinnovative in the use of first-order theorem proving techniques.The architecture of the formalism for natural language understandingthat I advocate consists of three levels of processing:underspecification, (...)
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  28. Myriam Bras & Laure Vieu (eds.) (2001). Semantic and Pragmatic Issues in Discourse and Dialogue: Experimenting with Current Dynamic Theories. Elsevier.
    This volume addresses current issues in the semantics and the pragmatics of discourse and dialogue. Collected papers aim at providing insights on different theoretical approaches, all of them in the dynamic semantics tradition, such as Dynamic Predicate Logic (DPL), Discourse Representation Theory (DRT), and Segmented Discourse Representation Theory (SDRT). They reflect the current move of formal semantics from short multisentential texts towards structured discourses and dialogues, accounting for more and more phenomena at the semantics-pragmatics interface (e.g., subtleties of anaphora and (...)
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  29. Adrian Brasoveanu, Structured Anaphora to Quantifier Domains: A Unified Account of Quantificational and Modal Subordination.
    The paper proposes an account of the contrast (noticed in Karttunen 1976) between the interpretations of the following two discourses: Harvey courts a girl at every convention. {She is very pretty. vs. She always comes to the banquet with him.}. The initial sentence is ambiguous between two quantifier scopings, but the first discourse as a whole allows only for the wide-scope indefinite reading, while the second allows for both. This cross-sentential interaction between quantifier scope and anaphora is captured by means (...)
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  30. Berit Brogaard (2012). Context and Content: Pragmatics in Two-Dimensional Semantics. In Keith Allan & Kasia Jaszczolt (eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Pragmatics. Cambridge University Press.
    Context figures in the interpretation of utterances in many different ways. In the tradition of possible-worlds semantics, the seminal account of context-sensitive expressions such as indexicals and demonstratives is that of Kaplan's two-dimensional semantics (the content- character distinction), further pursued in various directions by Stalnaker, Chalmers, and others. This chapter introduces and assesses the notion of context-sensitivity presented in this group of approaches, with a special focus on how it relates to the notion of cognitive significance and whether it includes (...)
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  31. Nate Charlow (2011). Practical Language: Its Meaning and Use. Dissertation, University of Michigan
    I demonstrate that a "speech act" theory of meaning for imperatives is—contra a dominant position in philosophy and linguistics—theoretically desirable. A speech act-theoretic account of the meaning of an imperative !φ is characterized, broadly, by the following claims. -/- LINGUISTIC MEANING AS USE !φ’s meaning is a matter of the speech act an utterance of it conventionally functions to express—what a speaker conventionally uses it to do (its conventional discourse function, CDF). -/- IMPERATIVE USE AS PRACTICAL !φ's CDF is to (...)
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  32. Gennaro Chierchia (1995). Dynamics of Meaning: Anaphora, Presupposition, and the Theory of Grammar. University of Chicago Press.
    In The Dynamics of Meaning , Gennaro Chierchia tackles central issues in dynamic semantics and extends the general framework. Chapter 1 introduces the notion of dynamic semantics and discusses in detail the phenomena that have been used to motivate it, such as "donkey" sentences and adverbs of quantification. The second chapter explores in greater depth the interpretation of indefinites and issues related to presuppositions of uniqueness and the "E-type strategy." In Chapter 3, Chierchia extends the dynamic approach to the domain (...)
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  33. Lenny Clapp (2009). The Problem of Negative Existentials Does Not Exist: A Case for Dynamic Semantics. Journal of Pragmatics 41 (7):1422-1434.
    The problem of negative existentials arises because utterances of such sentences have the paradoxical feature of denying what they presuppose, thus undermining their own truth. There are only two general strategies for solving the problem within the constraints traditional static semantics, and both strategies attempt to explain away this paradoxical feature. I argue that both strategies are fundamentally flawed, and that an adequate account of negative existentials must countenance, and not explain away, this paradoxical feature. Moreover, I argue that a (...)
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  34. Robin Cooper, Records and Record Types in Semantic Theory.
    I will explore possibilities for formulating linguistic semantics in terms of records and record types of the kind used in recent developments of Martin-L¨of type theory (Betarte, 1998, Betarte and Tasistro, 1998, Coquand, Pollock and Takeyama, 2003, Tasistro, 1997). I will suggest that they give us the tools to develop a theory which includes aspects of Montague semantics, using the lambda calculus1, Discourse Representation Theory (DRT)2, situation semantics3 and Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG)4 in a single theory. I will also (...)
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  35. Paul Dekker (1996). The Values of Variables in Dynamic Semantics. Linguistics and Philosophy 19 (3):211 - 257.
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  36. Josh Dever, Three Modes of, and Five Morals Regarding, Displaced Semantic Processing, with Special Attention to the Role of Variables (and a Final Plug for Dynamic Semantics).
    There is a puzzle regarding the semantics of quantification that is well-known among linguists and formal semanticists, but which has received relatively little attention from philosophers. The puzzle emerges most naturally if our semantic theory is categorical, satisfying two mutually supporting requirements.
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  37. Josh Dever, Must or Might.
    Sententialism: An adequate semantic theory for a language assigns semantic values to complex expressions (typically on the basis of the semantic values of the syntactic parts of those complex expressions), with the assignment process culminating in the assignment of appropriate semantic values (typically propositions or truth conditions) to entire sentences. Sententialism is so-called because it takes the task of semantic theory proper to be exhausted once semantic values have been assigned to full sentences. Beyond the sentence may lay further linguistic (...)
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  38. Jan Eijck & Fer-Jan Vries (1992). Dynamic Interpretation and HOARE Deduction. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 1 (1):1-44.
    In this paper we present a dynamic assignment language which extends the dynamic predicate logic of Groenendijk and Stokhof [1991: 39–100] with assignment and with generalized quantifiers. The use of this dynamic assignment language for natural language analysis, along the lines of o.c. and [Barwise, 1987: 1–29], is demonstrated by examples. We show that our representation language permits us to treat a wide variety of donkey sentences: conditionals with a donkey pronoun in their consequent and quantified sentences with donkey pronouns (...)
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  39. Tim Fernando (2001). A Type Reduction From Proof-Conditional to Dynamic Semantics. Journal of Philosophical Logic 30 (2):121-153.
    Dynamic and proof-conditional approaches to discourse (exemplified by Discourse Representation Theory and Type-Theoretical Grammar, respectively) are related through translations and transitions labeled by first-order formulas with anaphoric twists. Type-theoretic contexts are defined relative to a signature and instantiated modeltheoretically, subject to change.
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  40. Christopher Gauker, Comments on Dynamic Semantics.
    This is the text of my comments on the project of dynamic semantics for the session on that topic at the Central Division APA meeting on April 21, 2007. The other speakers were Jeroen Groenendijk, Frank Veltman and Thony Gillies. I question the philosophical basis for dynamic semantics. My doubts have to do with the nature of information states and the norms of semantics. I also question the data that inspire the project. In particular, I question the data concerning presupposition (...)
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  41. Jean Mark Gawron (1996). Quantification, Quantificational Domains and Dynamic Logic. In Shalom Lappin (ed.), The Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory. Blackwell. 247--268.
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  42. Bart Geurts, Propositions and Rigidity in Layered Drt.
    • names and indexicals are directly referential/rigid designators • wide-scope behavior w.r.t. operators • not synonymous with the description giving their ‘descriptive meaning’, as shown by Kripke-Kaplan examples (1) and (2).
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  43. Bart Geurts (1999). Presuppositions and Pronouns. Elsevier.
    In this volume, Geurts takes discourse representation theory (DRT), and turns it into a unified account of anaphora and presupposition, which he applies not only to the standard problem cases but also to the interpretation of modal expressions, attitude reports, and proper names. The resulting theory, for all its simplicity, is without doubt the most comprehensive of its kind to date. The central idea underlying Geurts' 'binding theory' of presupposition is that anaphora is just a special case of presupposition projection. (...)
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  44. Bart Geurts (1996). Local Satisfaction Guaranteed: A Presupposition Theory and its Problems. [REVIEW] Linguistics and Philosophy 19 (3):259 - 294.
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  45. Bart Geurts & Emar Maier, Layered DRT.
    The information conveyed by any utterance is a motley ensemble. Utterances carry content about the world as it is according to the speaker, but also about speakers’ attitudes, the way they speak, what has been said before, and so on. There are many kinds of information that are conveyed by way of language, and differences in kind correlate with differences in status. Presupposed information exhibits a distinctive projection behaviour; conversational implicatures are cancellable in a way that asserted information is not; (...)
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  46. Paul Gochet Et Eric Gillet (1999). Quantified Modal Logic, Dynamic Semantics and S 5. Dialectica 53 (3-4):243–251.
  47. Jeroen Groenendijk & Martin Stokhof (1991). Dynamic Predicate Logic. Linguistics and Philosophy 14 (1):39-100.
    This paper is devoted to the formulation and investigation of a dynamic semantic interpretation of the language of first-order predicate logic. The resulting system, which will be referred to as ‘dynamic predicate logic’, is intended as a first step towards a compositional, non-representational theory of discourse semantics. In the last decade, various theories of discourse semantics have emerged within the paradigm of model-theoretic semantics. A common feature of these theories is a tendency to do away with the principle of compositionality, (...)
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  48. Willem Groeneveld (1994). Dynamic Semantics and Circular Propositions. Journal of Philosophical Logic 23 (3):267 - 306.
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  49. Irene Heim (1983). On the Projection Problem for Presuppositions. In P. Portner & B. H. Partee (eds.), Formal Semantics - the Essential Readings. Blackwell. 249--260.
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  50. Irene Heim (1982). The Semantics of Definite and Indefinite Noun Phrases. Dissertation, UMass Amherst
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