David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Mind and Language 23 (4):426-456 (2008)
Abstract: A current debate in semantics and pragmatics is whether all contextual effects on truth-conditional content can be traced to logical form, or 'unarticulated constituents' can be supplied by the pragmatic process of free enrichment. In this paper, I defend the latter position. The main objection to this view is that free enrichment appears to overgenerate, not predicting where context cannot affect truth conditions, so that a systematic account is unlikely (Stanley, 2002a). I first examine the semantic alternative proposed by Stanley and others, which assumes extensive hidden structure acting as a linguistic trigger for pragmatic processes, so that all truth-conditional effects of context turn out to be instances of saturation. I show that there are cases of optional pragmatic contributions to the proposition expressed that cannot plausibly be accounted for in this way, and that advocates of this approach will therefore also have to appeal to free enrichment. The final section starts to address the question of how free enrichment is constrained: I argue that it involves only local development or adjustment of parts of logical form, any global developments being excluded by the requirement for the proposition expressed to provide an inferential warrant for the intended implications of the utterance.
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References found in this work BETA
R. Carston (2002). Thoughts and Utterances. Blackwell.
Herman Cappelen (2005). Insensitive Semantics: A Defense of Semantic Minimalism and Speech Act Pluralism. Blackwell Pub..
Stephen C. Levinson (2000). Presumptive Meanings: The Theory of Generalized Conversational Implicature. MIT Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Paul Elbourne (2016). Incomplete Descriptions and Indistinguishable Participants. Natural Language Semantics 24 (1):1-43.
Andrew Peet (2015). Testimony, Pragmatics, and Plausible Deniability. Episteme 12 (1):29-51.
Francesco Pupa (2015). Impossible Interpretations, Impossible Demands. Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (3):269-287.
Wolfram Hinzen (2015). Nothing is Hidden: Contextualism and the Grammar‐Meaning Interface. Mind and Language 30 (3):259-291.
Alison Hall (2009). Semantic Compositionality and Truth-Conditional Content. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 109 (1pt3):353 - 364.
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