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  1. Maria Bittner, Tense, Mood, and Centering.
    Natural languages exhibit a great variety of grammatical paradigms. For instance, in English verbs are grammatically marked for tense, whereas in the tenseless Eskimo-Aleut language Kalaallisut they are marked for illocutionary mood. Although time is a universal dimension of the human experience and speaking is part of that experience, some languages encode reference to time without any grammatical tense morphology, or reference to speech acts without any illocutionary mood morphology. Nevertheless, different grammatical systems are semantically parallel in certain respects. Specifically, (...)
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  2. Maria Bittner (2014). Temporality: Universals and Variation. Wiley-Blackwell.
    This book surveys the ways in which languages of different types refer to past, present, and future events and how these referents are related to the knowledge and attitudes of discourse participants. The book is the culmination of fifteen years of research by the author. Four major language types are examined in-depth: tense-based English, tense-aspect-based Polish, aspect-based Chinese, and mood-based Kalaallisut. Each contributes to a series of logical representation languages, which together define a common logical language that is argued to (...)
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  3. 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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  4. Adrian Brasoveanu, Semantics & Pragmatics.
    donkey anaphora, quantificational and modal subordination, static and dynamic approaches to mood, tense and aspect, entailment in natural language, parallels between the individual, temporal and modal domain.
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  5. Charles B. Cross (1986). 'Can' and the Logic of Ability. Philosophical Studies 50 (1):53-64.
    A selection function based semantics is offered for the 'can' of ability based on the idea that 'John can run a four minute mile' is true iff John would do so under the right conditions, meaning that he would do so under at least one appropriately chosen test condition. Completeness is proved for an axiom system and semantics based on this idea, and the logic turns out to be interestingly different from any standard system of modal logic.
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  6. Antony Eagle (2011). Deterministic Chance. Noûs 45 (2):269 - 299.
    I sketch a new constraint on chance, which connects chance ascriptions closely with ascriptions of ability, and more specifically with 'CAN'-claims. This connection between chance and ability has some claim to be a platitude; moreover, it exposes the debate over deterministic chance to the extensive literature on (in)compatibilism about free will. The upshot is that a prima facie case for the tenability of deterministic chance can be made. But the main thrust of the paper is to draw attention to the (...)
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  7. Valentine Hacquard (2009). On the Interaction of Aspect and Modal Auxiliaries. Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (3):279-315.
    This paper discusses the interaction of aspect and modality, and focuses on the puzzling implicative effect that arises when perfective aspect appears on certain modals: perfective somehow seems to force the proposition expressed by the complement of the modal to hold in the actual world, and not merely in some possible world. I show that this puzzling behavior, originally discussed in Bhatt (1999, Covert modality in non-finite contexts) for the ability modal, extends to all modal auxiliaries with a circumstantial modal (...)
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  8. Wesley H. Holliday & Thomas F. Icard (forthcoming). Measure Semantics and Qualitative Semantics for Epistemic Modals. Proceedings of SALT 23.
    In this paper, we explore semantics for comparative epistemic modals that avoid the entailment problems shown to result from Kratzer’s (1991) semantics by Yalcin (2006, 2009, 2010). In contrast to the alternative semantics presented by Yalcin and Lassiter (2010, 2011), based on finitely additive probability measures, we introduce semantics based on qualitatively additive measures, as well as semantics based on purely qualitative orderings, including orderings on propositions derived from orderings on worlds in the tradition of Kratzer (1991). All of these (...)
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  9. David Hunter (2007). Common Ground and Modal Disagreement. In H. V. Hanson (ed.), Dissensus and the Search for Common Ground. 134-143.
    The common ground in an inquiry consists of what the participants agree on, at least for the sake of the inquiry. The relations between the factual and linguistic components of common ground are notoriously difficult to trace. I clarify them by exploring how modal disagreements – disagreements about how things might be – interact with the linguistic and the factual common ground. I argue that modal agreement is essential to common ground of any kind.
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  10. Frank Jackson (1985). On the Semantics and Logic of Obligation. Mind 94 (374):177-195.
    This paper develops an informal semantics for 'ought to be' and 'ought to be given...' and argues for its plausibility. A feature of the semantics is that it invalidates 'if a entails b, And o(a), Then o(b)' and 'if o(a) & o(b), Then o(a&b)', While validating detachment for conditional obligation.
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  11. Angelika Kratzer (1977). What 'Must' and 'Can' Must and Can Mean. Linguistics and Philosophy 1 (3):337--355.
    In this paper I offer an account of the meaning of must and can within the framework of possible worlds semantics. The paper consists of two parts: the first argues for a relative concept of modality underlying modal words like must and can in natural language. I give preliminary definitions of the meaning of these words which are formulated in terms of logical consequence and compatibility, respectively. The second part discusses one kind of insufficiency in the meaning definitions given in (...)
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  12. John-Michael Kuczynski (2007). Does Possible World Semantics Turn All Propositions Into Necessary Ones? Journal of Pragmatics 39 (5):972-916.
    "Jim would still be alive if he hadn't jumped" means that Jim's death was a consequence of his jumping. "x wouldn't be a triangle if it didn't have three sides" means that x's having a three sides is a consequence its being a triangle. Lewis takes the first sentence to mean that Jim is still alive in some alternative universe where he didn't jump, and he takes the second to mean that x is a non-triangle in every alternative universe where (...)
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  13. Paul McNamara (1996). Must I Do What I Ought (or Will the Least I Can Do Do)? In Mark Brown & Jose' Carmo (eds.), Deontic Logic, Agency and Normative Systems. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. 154-173.
    Some key pre-theoretic semantic and pragmatic phenomena that support a negative answer to the main title question are identified and a conclusion of some significance is drawn: a pervasive bipartisan presupposition of twentieth century ethical theory and deontic logic is false. Next, an intuitive model-theoretic framework for "must" and "ought" is hypothesized. It is then shown how this hypothesis helps to explain and predict all the pre-theoretic phenomena previously observed. Next, I show that the framework hypothesized possesses additional expressive and (...)
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  14. Friederike Moltmann (forthcoming). Variable Objects and Truthmaking. In Mircea Dumitru (ed.), Metaphysics, Meaning, and Modality. Themes from Kit Fine. Oxford UP.
    This paper will focus on a philosophically significant construction whose semantics brings together two important notions in Kit Fine’s philosophy, the notion of truthmaking and the notion of a variable embodiment, or its extension, namely what I call a ‘variable object’. The analysis of the construction this paper will develop will be based on an account of clausal complements of intensional verbs that is of more general interest, based on truthmaking and the notion of a cognitive product, such as a (...)
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  15. Dilip Ninan (2012). Propositions, Semantic Values, and Rigidity. Philosophical Studies 158 (3):401-413.
    Jeffrey King has recently argued: (i) that the semantic value of a sentence at a context is (or determines) a function from possible worlds to truth values, and (ii) that this undermines Jason Stanley's argument against the rigidity thesis, the claim that no rigid term has the same content as a non-rigid term. I show that King's main argument for (i) fails, and that Stanley's argument is consistent with the claim that the semantic value of a sentence at a context (...)
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  16. Anna Papafragou, Modality in Language Development: A Reconsideration of the Evidence.
    The set of English modal verbs is widely recognised to communicate two broad clusters of meanings: epistemic and root modal meanings. A number of researchers have claimed that root meanings are acquired earlier than epistemic ones; this claim has subsequently been employed in the linguistics literature as an argument for the position that English modal verbs are polysemous (Sweetser 1990). In this paper I offer an alternative explanation for the later emergence of epistemic interpretations by liniking them to the development (...)
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  17. Bryan Pickel (2012). Rigidification and Attitudes. Philosophical Studies 158 (1):43-58.
    Scott Soames has argued that Rigidified Descriptivism wrongly predicts that one cannot believe, say, that Joe Strummer was born in 1952 without having a belief about the actual world. Soames suggests that agents in other possible worlds may have this belief, but may lack any beliefs about the actual world, a world that they do not occupy and have no contact with. I respond that this argument extends to other popular actuality-involving analyses. In order for Soames to hold on to (...)
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  18. Paul Portner (2003). The (Temporal) Semantics and (Modal) Pragmatics of the Perfect. Linguistics and Philosophy 26 (4):459-510.
    The English perfect involves two fundamental components of meaning: a truth-conditional one involving temporal notions and a current relevance presupposition best expressed in terms drawn from the analysis of modality. The proposal made here draws much for the Extended Now theory (McCoard 1978 and others), but improves on it by showing that many aspects of the perfect's meaning may be factored out into independent semantic or pragmatic principles.
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  19. Jonathan Schaffer, The Schmentencite Way Out: Towards an Index-Free Semantics.
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  20. Philippe Schlenker (2006). Ontological Symmetry in Language: A Brief Manifesto. Mind and Language 21 (4):504–539.
    In the tradition of quantified modal logic, it was assumed that significantly different linguistic systems underlie reference to individuals, to times and to 'possible worlds'. Various results from recent research in formal semantics suggest that this is not so, and that there is in fact a pervasive symmetry between the linguistic means with which we refer to these three domains. Reference to individuals, times and worlds is uniformly effected through generalized quantifiers, definite descriptions, and pronouns, and in each domain grammatical (...)
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  21. Katrin Schulz (2005). A Pragmatic Solution for the Paradox of Free Choice Permission. Synthese 147 (2):343 - 377.
    In this paper, a pragmatic approach to the phenomenon of free choice permission is proposed. Free choice permission is explained as due to taking the speaker (i) to obey certain Gricean maxims of conversation and (ii) to be competent on the deontic options, i.e. to know the valid obligations and permissions. The approach differs from other pragmatic approaches to free choice permission in giving a formally precise description of the class of inferences that can be derived based on these two (...)
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  22. Mandy Simons (2005). Dividing Things Up: The Semantics of or and the Modal/or Interaction. [REVIEW] Natural Language Semantics 13 (3):271-316.
    In this paper, the meanings of sentences containing the word or and a modal verb are used to arrive at a novel account of the meaning of or coordinations. It is proposed that or coordinations denote sets whose members are the denotations of the disjuncts; and that the truth conditions of sentences containing or coordinations require the existence of some set made available by the semantic environment which can be ‘divided up’ in accordance with the disjuncts. The relevant notion of (...)
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  23. Scott Soames (2007). Actually. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81 (1):251–277.
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  24. Martin Stokhof, Coreference and Modality in the Context of Multi-Speaker Discourse.
    Update semantics1 embodies a radical view on the relation between context and interpretation. The meaning of a sentence is identified with its context change potential, where contexts are identified with information states. The recursive definition of semantic interpretation is stated in terms of a process of updating an information state with a sentence. Meanings of sentences, then, are update functions. In general, these are partial functions, since the possibility to update with a sentence may depend on the fulfillment of certain (...)
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  25. Matthew Stone, Reference to Possible Worlds.
    In modal subordination, a modal sentence is interpreted relative to a hypothetical scenario introduced in an earlier sentence. In this paper, I argue that this phenomenon reflects the fact that the interpretation of modals is an ANAPHORIC process. Modal morphemes introduce sets of possible worlds, representing alternative hypothetical scenarios, as entities into the discourse model. Their interpretation depends on evoking sets of worlds recording described and reference scenarios, and relating such sets to one another using familiar notions of restricted, preferential (...)
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  26. Zoltán Gendler Szabó & Joshua Knobe (2013). Modals with a Taste of the Deontic. Semantics and Pragmatics 6 (1):1-42.
    The aim of this paper is to present an explanation for the impact of normative considerations on people’s assessment of certain seemingly purely descriptive matters. The explanation is based on two main claims. First, a large category of expressions are tacitly modal: they are contextually equivalent to modal proxies. Second, the interpretation of predominantly circumstantial or teleological modals is subject to certain constraints which make certain possibilities salient at the expense of others.
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  27. Kai F. Wehmeier (2005). Modality, Mood, and Descriptions. In Reinhard Kahle (ed.), Intensionality: An Interdisciplinary Discussion. AK Peters.
    §1. Introduction. By means of what semantic features is a proper name tied to its bearer? This is a puzzling question indeed: proper names — like “Aristotle” or “Paris” — are syntactically simple, and it therefore does not seem possible to reduce their meanings, by means of a principle of compositionality, to the meanings of more basic, and hence perhaps more tractable, linguistic elements.
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  28. Kai F. Wehmeier (2003). World Travelling and Mood Swings. In Benedikt Löwe, Thoralf Räsch & Wolfgang Malzkorn (eds.), Foundations of the Formal Sciences II. Kluwer.
    It is not quite as easy to see that there is in fact no formula of this modal language having the same truth conditions (in terms of S5 Kripke semantics) as (1). This was rst conjectured by Allen Hazen2 and later proved by Harold Hodes3. We present a simple direct proof of this result and discuss some consequences for the logical analysis of ordinary modal discourse.
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  29. Zsófia Zvolenszky (2010). Ruzsa on Quine’s Argument Against Modal Logic. Hungarian Philosophical Review (Magyar Filozófiai Szemle) (4):40-48.
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