Metaphor and minimalism

Philosophical Studies 153 (2):273 - 298 (2011)
This paper argues first that, contrary to what one would expect, metaphorical interpretations of utterances pass two of Cappelan and Lepore's Minimalist tests for semantic context-sensitivity. I then propose how, in light of that result, one might analyze metaphors on the model of indexicals and demonstratives, expressions that (even) Minimalists agree are semantically context-dependent. This analysis builds on David Kaplan's semantics for demonstratives and refines an earlier proposal in (Stern, Metaphor in context, MIT Press, Cambridge, 2000). In the course of this argument, I also discuss some new examples of linguistic phenomena that motivate a semantic structure underlying metaphorical interpretation, phenomena I argue that neither Minimalists nor Contextualists can explain.
Keywords Metaphor  Semantics  Pragmatics  Minimalism  Context-dependence
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DOI 10.2307/41487631
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