David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (2):129-156 (2002)
In this paper I present experimental data showing that the interpretation of donkey sentences is influenced by certain aspects of world knowledge that seem to elude introspective observation, which I try to explain by reference to a scale ranging from prototypical individuals (like children) to quite marginal ones (such as railway lines). This ontological cline interacts with the semantics of donkey sentences: as suggested already by the anecdotal data on which much of the literature is based, the effect of world knowledge is by and large restricted to donkey sentences with non-intersective determiners. I outline a psychological model which incorporates both ontological and logical factors, and suggest that there may be something wrong with the standard assumption that a statement's receiving a truth value requires that it have a definite reading.
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Citations of this work BETA
Mark Phelan (2010). The Inadequacy of Paraphrase is the Dogma of Metaphor. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (4):481-506.
Nat Hansen (2013). A Slugfest of Intuitions: Contextualism and Experimental Design. Synthese 190 (10):1771-1792.
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