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  • Research staff, CNRS
  • PhD, Università degli Studi di Milano, 2006.

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About me
I am a philosopher with a long-standing passion for natural language semantics. My liveliest interest lies in the interactions between temporal and modal expressions, in particular the question how linguistic items whose meanings are primarily defined in the temporal domain come to convey more abstract notions from the modal domain.
My works
10 items found.
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  1.  89
    Luca Barlassina & Fabio Del Prete, No Longer True.
    There are sentences that express the same temporally fully specified proposition at all contexts--call them 'context-insensitive, temporally specific sentences.' Sentence (1) 'Obama was born in 1961' is a case in point: at all contexts, it expresses the proposition ascribing to the year 1961 the property of being a time in which Obama was born. Suppose that someone uttered (1) in a context located on Christmas 2000 in our world. In this context, (1) is a true sentence about the past. Moreover, (...)
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  2.  30
    Patrícia Amaral & Fabio Del Prete (2016). On Truth Unpersistence: At the Crossroads of Epistemic Modality and Discourse. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 34.
    We propose a semantic analysis of the particles afinal (European Portuguese) and alla fine (Italian) in terms of the notion of truth unpersistence, which combines both epistemic modality and constraints on discourse structure. We argue that the felicitous use of these modal particles requires that the truth of a proposition p* fail to persist through a temporal succession of epistemic states, where p* is incompatible with the proposition modified by afinal/alla fine, and that the interlocutors share knowledge of a previous (...)
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  3. L. Barlassina & F. Del Prete (2015). The Puzzle of the Changing Past. Analysis 75 (1):59-67.
    If you utter sentence ‘Obama was born in 1961’ now, you say something true about the past. Since the past will always be such that the year 1961 has the property of being a time in which Obama was born, it seems impossible that could ever be false in a future context of utterance. We shall consider the case of a sentence about the past exactly like , but which was true when uttered a few years ago and is no (...)
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  4.  20
    Patricia Amaral & Fabio Del Prete (2014). On Truth Persistence. A Comparison Between European Portuguese and Italian in Relation to Sempre. In Variation within and across Romance Languages. Selected papers from the 41st Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages.
    This paper analyzes a non-temporal interpretation of the adverb sempre “always” in European Portuguese and Italian, in which the adverb expresses persistence of the truth of a proposition over time and displays specific contextual constraints (TP-sempre). Despite an overlap in the contexts in which TP-sempre may occur in both languages, we provide data showing that its distribution is not exactly the same in European Portuguese and Italian. In view of these data, we propose that TP-sempre is a modal operator of (...)
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  5.  45
    Fabio Del Prete (2014). The Interpretation of Indefinites in Future Tensed Sentences. A Novel Argument for the Modality of Will? In Mikhail Kissine, Philippe de Brabanter & Saghie Sharifzadeh (eds.), Oxford Studies of Time in Language and Thought.
    The chapter considers two semantic issues concerning will-sentences: Stalnaker’s Asymmetry and modal subordination in Karttunen-type discourses. The former points to a distinction between will and modal verbs, seeming to show that will does not license non-specific indefinites. The latter, conversely, suggests that will-sentences involve some kind of modality. To account for the data, the chapter proposes that will is semantically a tense, hence it doesn’t contribute a quantifier over modal alternatives; a modal feature, however, is introduced in the interpretation of (...)
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  6. Patrícia Amaral & Fabio Del Prete (2010). Approximating the Limit: The Interaction Between Quasi 'Almost' and Some Temporal Connectives in Italian. [REVIEW] Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (2):51-115.
    This paper focuses on the interpretation of the Italian approximative adverb quasi ‘almost’ by primarily looking at cases in which it modifies temporal connectives, a domain which, to our knowledge, has been largely unexplored thus far. Consideration of this domain supports the need for a scalar account of the semantics of quasi (close in spirit to Hitzeman’s semantic analysis of almost, in: Canakis et al. (eds) Papers from the 28th regional meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, 1992). When paired with (...)
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  7. Fabio Del Prete (2008). A Non-Uniform Semantic Analysis of the Italian Temporal Connectives Prima and Dopo. Natural Language Semantics 16 (2):157-203.
    In this paper, I argue that the temporal connective prima (‘before’) is a comparative adverb. The argument is based on a number of grammatical facts from Italian, showing that there is an asymmetry between prima and dopo (‘after’). On the ground of their divergent behaviour, I suggest that dopo has a different grammatical status from prima. I propose a semantic treatment for prima that is based on an independently motivated analysis of comparatives which can be traced back to Seuren (in: (...)
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  8.  33
    Andrea Bonomi & Fabio Del Prete, Evaluating Future-Tensed Sentences in Changing Contexts.
    modal view has it that the truth conditions of such a sentence require the truth of ϕ being already “settled” at the time of utterance, where “being settled” is defined by universal quantification over a domain of courses of events, the futures compatible with what has happened up to the time of utterance. On the proposal we discuss in this paper, actualism and modalism are seen as two related attitudes that speakers can have when evaluating future-tensed sentences, and the corresponding (...)
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  9.  27
    Andrea Bonomi & Fabio Del Prete, Evaluating Future-Tensed Sentences in Changing Contexts.
    According to the actualist view, what is essential in the truth conditions of a future-tensed sentence ‘it will be the case that ’ is the reference to the unique course of events that will become actual (Lewis 1986). On the other hand, the modal view has it that the truth conditions of such sentences require the truth of  being already “settled” at the time of utterance, where “being settled” is defined by universal quantification over a domain of courses of (...)
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  10.  30
    Andrea Bonomi & Fabio Del Prete, Evaluating Future-Tensed Sentences in Changing Contexts.
    According to the actualist view, what is essential in the truth conditions of a future-tensed sentence of type ‘it will be the case that ϕ’ is the reference to the unique course of events that will become actual. On the other hand, the modal view has it that the truth conditions of such a sentence require the truth of ϕ being already “settled” at the time of utterance, where “being settled” is defined by universal quantification over a domain of courses (...)
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