Color Adjectives and Radical Contextualism

Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (3):201-221 (2011)
Radical contextualists have observed that the content of what is said by the utterance of a sentence is shaped in far-reaching ways by the context of utterance. And they have argued that the ways in which the content of what is said is shaped by context cannot be explained by semantic theory. A striking number of the examples that radical contextualists use to support their view involve sentences containing color adjectives ("red", "green", etc.). In this paper, I show how the most sophisticated analysis of color adjectives within the explanatory framework of compositional truth conditional semantics--recently developed by Kennedy and McNally (2010)--needs to be modified to handle the full range of contextual variation displayed by color adjectives.
Keywords context  contextualism  color  adjectives  gradability  predicates of personal taste  ambiguity  semantics
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DOI 10.1007/s10988-011-9099-0
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Berit Brogaard (2010). Perspectival Truth and Color Primitivism. In Cory D. Wright & Nikolaj J. L. L. Pedersen (eds.), New Waves in Truth. Palgrave Macmillan
Mohan Matthen (2010). Color Experience: A Semantic Theory. In Jonathan Cohen & Mohan Matthen (eds.), Color Ontology and Color Science. MIT Press 67--90.
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