David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (5):537 - 586 (2006)
The notion of measurement plays a central role in human cognition. We measure people’s height, the weight of physical objects, the length of stretches of time, or the size of various collections of individuals. Measurements of height, weight, and the like are commonly thought of as mappings between objects and dense scales, while measurements of collections of individuals, as implemented for instance in counting, are assumed to involve discrete scales. It is also commonly assumed that natural language makes use of both types of scales and subsequently distinguishes between two types of measurements. This paper argues against the latter assumption. It argues that natural language semantics treats all measurements uniformly as mappings from objects (individuals or collections of individuals) to dense scales, hence the Universal Density of Measurement (UDM). If the arguments are successful, there are a variety of consequences for semantics and pragmatics, and more generally for the place of the linguistic system within an overall architecture of cognition.
|Keywords||Number Degrees Implicature Exhaustivity Comparatives Negative Islands|
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Denis Bonnay & Dag Westerståhl (2012). Consequence Mining: Constans Versus Consequence Relations. Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (4):671-709.
Chris Cummins, Uli Sauerland & Stephanie Solt (2012). Granularity and Scalar Implicature in Numerical Expressions. Linguistics and Philosophy 35 (2):135-169.
M. Abrusan & B. Spector (2011). A Semantics for Degree Questions Based on Intervals: Negative Islands and Their Obviation. Journal of Semantics 28 (1):107-147.
Richard Dietz (2013). Comparative Concepts. Synthese 190 (1):139-170.
Martin Hackl (2009). On the Grammar and Processing of Proportional Quantifiers: Most Versus More Than Half. [REVIEW] Natural Language Semantics 17 (1):63--98.
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