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Profile: Emar Maier (University of Groningen)
  1. Bart Geurts & Emar Maier, Layered DRT.
    The information conveyed by any utterance is a motley ensemble. Utterances carry content about the world as it is according to the speaker, but also about speakers’ attitudes, the way they speak, what has been said before, and so on. There are many kinds of information that are conveyed by way of language, and differences in kind correlate with differences in status. Presupposed information exhibits a distinctive projection behaviour; conversational implicatures are cancellable in a way that asserted information is not; (...)
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  2. Emar Maier, Parasitic Attitudes.
    Karttunen observes that a presupposition triggered in an x hopes that complement, can be filtered out by a seemingly inaccessible antecedent under the scope of a preceding x believes that ascription. I show that the problem evaporates once we enrich our semantics of attitude ascriptions with some independently argued assumptions on the structure and interpre- tation of mental states. In particular, I argue that mental states consist of acquaintance-based mental files and variously labeled attitude compartments, laid out in a DRT-like (...)
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  3. Emar Maier, Why My I is Your You: On the Communication of de Se Attitudes.
    The communication of de se attitudes poses a problem for “participant- neutral” analyses of communication in terms of propositions expressed or proposed updates to the common ground: when you tell me “I am an idiot”, you express a first person de se attitude, but as a result I form a different, second person attitude, viz. that you are an idiot. I argue that when we take seriously the asymmetry between speaker and hearer in semantics this problem disappears. To prove this (...)
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  4. Rob van der Sandt & Emar Maier, Denials in Discourse.
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  5. Emar Maier (forthcoming). Pure Quotation. Philosophy Compass:to appear.
    Pure quotation, as in ‘cat’ has three letters, is a linguistic device designed for referring to linguistic expressions. I present a uniform recon struction of the four classic philosophical accounts of the phenomenon: the proper name theory, the description theory, the demonstrative theory, and the disquotational theory. I evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each proposal with respect to fundamental semantic properties like compositionality, productivity, and recursivity.
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  6. Emar Maier (forthcoming). Quotation and Unquotation in Free Indirect Discourse. Mind and Language:to appear.
    I argue that free indirect discourse should be analyzed as a species of direct discourse rather than indirect discourse. More specifically, I argue against the emerging consensus among semanticists, who analyze it in terms of context shifting. Instead, I apply the semantic mechanisms of mixed quotation and unquotation to offer an alternative analysis where free indirect discourse is essentially a quotation of an utterance or thought, but with unquoted tenses and pronouns.
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  7. Emar Maier (forthcoming). Reference, Binding, and Presupposition: Three Perspectives on the Semantics of Proper Names. Erkenntnis:to appear.
    Linguistics and philosophy have provided distinct views on the nature of reference to individuals in language. In philosophy, in particular in the tradition of direct reference, the distinction is between reference and description. In linguistics, in particular in the tradition of generative grammar, the distinction is between pronouns and R-expressions. I argue for a third conception, grounded in dynamic semantics, in which the main watershed is between definites, which trigger presuppositions that want to be bound, and indefinites, which set up (...)
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  8. Emar Maier (forthcoming). Reported Speech in the Transition From Orality to Literacy. Glotta 89 (1):1--16.
  9. Corien Bary & Emar Maier (2014). Unembedded Indirect Discourse. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 18:77--94.
    This paper contributes to two debates: (i) the debate about whether or not ancient Greek has Free Indirect Discourse (FID), and (ii) the debate about how we should analyze FID semantically. We do this by showing that there is a distinction between FID and what we call Unembedded Indirect Discourse (UID). The semantic analysis that we develop for the latter shows that the two phenomena, though superficially similar, are semantically fundamentally different. We conclude that UID would have been more deserving (...)
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  10. Emar Maier (2014). Language Shifts in Free Indirect Discourse. Journal of Literary Semantics 43 (2):143--167.
    In this paper I present a linguistic investigation of the literary style known as free indirect discourse within the framework of formal semantics. I will argue that a semantics for free indirect discourse involves more than a mechanism for the independent context shifting of pronouns and other deictic elements. My argumentation is fueled by literary examples of free indirect discourse involving what I call language shifts: -/- Most of the great flame-throwers were there and naturally, handling Big John de Conquer (...)
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  11. Emar Maier (2014). Mixed Quotation: The Grammar of Apparently Transparent Opacity. Semantics and Pragmatics 7 (7):1--67.
    The phenomenon of mixed quotation exhibits clear signs of both the apparent transparency of compositional language use and the opacity of pure quotation. I argue that the interpretation of a mixed quotation in- volves the resolution of a metalinguistic presupposition. The leading idea behind my proposal is that a mixed-quoted expression, say, “has an anomalous feature”, means what x referred to with the words ‘has an anomalous feature’. To understand how this solves the paradox, I set up a precise grammatical (...)
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  12. Bart Geurts & Emar Maier (2013). Layered Discourse Representation Theory. In Alessandro Capone, Franco Lo Piparo & Marco Carapezza (eds.), Perspectives on Linguistic Pragmatics. Springer. 311--327.
     
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  13. Emar Maier (2011). On the Roads to de Se. Proceedings of Salt 21 (1):393--412.
    It is rather uncontroversial that there are different ways to report de se attitudes, but there is still disagreement about the number and the nature of the different mechanisms at work. Following Anand (2006), I distinguish three types of de se reporting: one a special case of de re, another expressed by shifted indexicals, and a third expressed by dedicated de se pronouns. For the first two I propose reductions to de re and de dicto reporting, respectively, couched in a (...)
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  14. Emar Maier (2010). Quoted Imperatives. In Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 14. 1-16.
    I show how, contrary to recent claims, so-called embedded imperatives are better analyzed in terms of mixed quotation. To this end I extend the presuppositional analysis of mixed quotation to include quotations of constructions.
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  15. Emar Maier & Kees de Schepper, Fake Indexicals: Morphosyntax, or Pragmasemantics?
    In this paper we defend a rather traditional view of pronouns that is based on the fundamental opposition between reference and anaphora: local pronouns are referential, like names and other indexicals, while third person proouns are anaphoric. We argue against the grammatical classification based on the opposition between pronouns and R-expressions: all pronouns, but not names and other indexicals, are systematically ambiguous between a bound-variable and a referential reading. More specifically we aim to defuse Kratzer's recent argumentation aimed at establishing (...)
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  16. Corien Bary & Emar Maier (2009). The Dynamics of Tense Under Attitudes: Anaphoricity and de Se Interpretation in the Backward Shifted Past. In Hattori et al (ed.), New Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence. Springer. 146--160.
    Shows that both anaphoricity and egocentric de se binding play a crucial role in the interpretation of tense in discourse. Uses the English backwards shifted reading of the past tense in a mistaken time scenario to bring out the tension between these two features. Provides a suitable representational framework for the observed clash in the form of an extension of DRT in which updates of the common ground are accompanied by updates of each relevant agent's complex attitudinal state.
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  17. Emar Maier (2009). Iterated de Re: A New Puzzle for the Relational Report Semantics. In Arndt Riester & Torgrim Solstad (eds.), Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 13. 347-55.
    I present and solve a puzzle involving iterated de re reports in a relational attitudes framework. The investigation shows that de re reporting is even more noncompositional than hypothesized earlier.
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  18. Emar Maier (2009). Japanese Reported Speech: Against a Direct--Indirect Distinction. In Hattori et al (ed.), New Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence. Springer. 133--145.
    English direct discourse is easily recognized by e.g. the lack of a complementizer, the quotation marks (or the intonational contour they induce), and verbatim (`shifted') pronouns. Japanese employs the same complementizer for all reports, does not have a consistent intonational quotation marking, and tends to drop pronouns where possible. Some have argued that this just shows many Japanese reports are ambiguous: despite the lack of explicit marking, the underlying distinction is just as hard. On the basis of a number of (...)
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  19. Emar Maier (2009). Presupposing Acquaintance: A Unified Semantics for de Dicto, de Re and de Se Belief Reports. Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (5):429--474.
    This paper deals with the semantics of de dicto , de re and de se belief reports. First, I flesh out in some detail the established, classical theories that assume syntactic distinctions between all three types of reports. I then propose a new, unified analysis, based on two ideas discarded by the classical theory. These are: (i) modeling the de re/de dicto distinction as a difference in scope, and (ii) analyzing de se as merely a special case of relational de (...)
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  20. Emar Maier (2009). Proper Names and Indexicals Trigger Rigid Presuppositions. Journal of Semantics 26 (3):253-315.
    I provide a novel semantic analysis of proper names and indexicals, combining insights from the competing traditions of referentialism, championed by Kripke and Kaplan, and descriptivism, introduced by Frege and Russell, and more recently resurrected by Geurts and Elbourne, among others. From the referentialist tradition, I borrow the proof that names and indexicals are not synonymous to any definite description but pick their referent from the context directly. From the descriptivist tradition, I take the observation that names, and to some (...)
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  21. Jennifer Spenader & Emar Maier (2009). Contrast as Denial in Multi-Dimensional Semantics. Journal of Pragmatics 41:1707-26.
    We argue that contrastive statements have the same underlying semantics and affect the context in the same way as denials. We substantiate this claim by giving a unified account of the two phenomena that treats contrast as a subtype of denial. This analysis crucially requires a dynamic semantics view of context-dependence with a multi-dimensional representation of information.
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  22. Emar Maier (2008). Breaking Quotations. In Satoh et al (ed.), New Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence. Springer. 187-200.
    Quotation exhibits characteristics of both use and mention. I argue against the recently popular pragmatic reductions of quotation to mere language use (e.g. Recanati 2001), and in favor of a truly hybrid account synthesizing and extending Potts (2007) and Geurts & Maier (2005), using a mention logic and a dynamic semantics with presupposition to establish a context-driven meaning shift. The current paper explores a `quotebreaking' extension to solve the problems posed by non-constituent quotation, and anaphora, ellipsis and quantifier raising across (...)
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  23. Emar Maier (2008). What Syntax Doesn't Feed Semantics: Fake Indexicals as Indexicals. In Maribel Romero (ed.), Proceedings of the Esslli 2008 Workshop `What Syntax Feeds Semantics?'.
    Argues that the first person pronoun is always directly referential, against more recent findings of Heim (1991,2008), Kratzer (1998,2008) and others. Shows how purported evidence of syntactically bound or `fake' indexical I, involving sloppy ellipsis and only, and de se attitude reporting can be reconciled with a strict Kaplanian semantics. Proposes alternative treatments of these phenomena that bypass the syntactic LF level, going straight from surface to semantics/pragmatics.
     
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  24. Emar Maier (2007). Mixed Quotation: Between Use and Mention. In Proceedings of Lenls 2007.
    Quotation exhibits characteristics of both use and mention. I argue against the recently popular pragmatic reductions of quotation to mere language use (Recanati 2001), and in favor of a truly hybrid account synthesizing and extending Potts (2007) and Geurts and Maier (2005), using a mention logic and a dynamic semantics with presupposition to establish a context-driven meaning shift. The main advantages are an account of error neutralization and shifted indexicality under quotation. The current paper addresses the problematic data involving quoted (...)
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  25. Emar Maier (2007). Proper Names as Rigid Presuppositions. In Estella Puig-Waldmüller (ed.), Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 11. 418-32.
    Since Kripke introduced rigid designation as an alternative to the Frege/Russell analysis of referential terms as definite descriptions, there has been an ongoing debate between 'descriptivists' and 'referentialists', mostly focusing on the semantics of proper names. Nowadays descriptivists can draw on a much richer set of linguistic data (including bound and accommodated proper names in discourse) as well as new semantic machinery (E-type syntax/semantics, DRT, presupposition-as-anaphora) to strengthen their case. After reviewing the current state of the debate, I argue for (...)
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  26. Emar Maier (2007). Quotation Marks as Monsters, or the Other Way Around? In Dekker Aloni (ed.), Proceedings of the Sixteenth Amsterdam Colloquium. 145-150.
    Mixed quotation exhibits characteristics of both mention and use. Some even go so far as to claim it can be described wholly in terms of the pragmatics of language use. Thus, it may be argued that the observed shifting of indexicals under all quotation shows that a monstrous operator is involved. I will argue the opposite: a proper semantic account of quotation can be used to exorcize Schlenker's monsters from semantic theory.
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  27. Emar Maier (2006). Belief in Context: Towards a Unified Semantics of De Re and De Se Attitude Reports. Dissertation, Radboud University Nijmegen
    This thesis deals with the phenomenon of attitude reporting. More specifically, it provides a unified semantics of de re and de se belief reports. After arguing that de se belief is best thought of as a special case of de re belief, I examine whether we can extend this unification to the realm of belief reports. I show how, despite very promising first steps, previous attempts in this direction ultimately fail with respect to some relatively recent linguistic data involving quantified (...)
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  28. Emar Maier, Review of Paul Elbourne's (2006) 'Situations and Individuals', MIT Press. [REVIEW]
    Review of Elbourne's (2006) unification of pronouns, definite descriptions and proper names.
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  29. Bart Geurts & Emar Maier (2005). Quotation in Context. In Philippe de Brabanter (ed.), Hybrid Quotations. John Benjamins. 109-28.
    It appears that in mixed quotations like the following, the quoted expression is used and mentioned at the same time: (1) George says Tony is his ``bestest friend''. Most theories seek to account for this observation by assuming that mixed quotations operate at two levels of content at once. In contradistinction to such two-dimensional theories, we propose that quotation involves just a single level of content. Quotation always produces a change in meaning of the quoted expression, and if the quotation (...)
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  30. Emar Maier (2005). De Re and de Se in Quantified Belief Reports. In Sylvia Blaho, Luis Vicente & Erik Schoorlemmer (eds.), Proceedings of Console Xiii. 211-29.
    Percus & Sauerland (2003) use quantified belief reports of the form 'Only Peter thinks he's...' to argue for dedicated de se LFs. The argument is targeted against any reductionist account that sees de se as merely a particular subtype of de re, viz. a de re belief about oneself from a first person perspective, requiring nothing but an account of de re attitudes. My acquaintance resolution framework is an attempt at just such a reduction and in this paper I extend (...)
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  31. Emar Maier (2005). De Se Reductionism Takes on Monsters. In Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.), Proceedings of Sub9. 197-211.
    Chierchia (1989) and others have used the contrast between George hopes that he will win and Georges hopes to win in mistaken-self-identity scenarios, to argue for dedicated de se LFs. The argument, further strengthened by evidence of shiftable indexicals, appears applicable against any reductionist account that sees de se as merely a particular subtype of de re. My Acquaintance Resolution framework is an attempt at such a reduction, and this paper seeks to extend that theory with a logical principle of (...)
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  32. Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.) (2005). Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 9. Nijmegen Centre for Semantics.
  33. Emar Maier (2004). Acquaintance Resolution and Belief de Re. In Laura Alonso i Alemany & Paul Égré (eds.), Proceedings of the 9th Esslli Student Session.
    This paper proposes a way of semantically representing de re belief ascriptions that involves contextual resolution of the acquaintance relation between the attitude holder and the object about which the attitude is de re. A special case is that where the belief is about the believer herself. Here, we may discern two possibilities: the acquaintance relation is equality, in which case we end up with a de se belief, or, if the first option fails, we search the context for a (...)
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  34. Emar Maier & Jennifer Spenader (2004). Contrast as Denial. In Jonathan Ginzburg & Enric Vallduví (eds.), Proceedings of Catalog'04: The 8th Workshop on the Semantics and Pragmatics of Dialogue.
    We present a unified treatment of contrast and denial as slightly different instantiations of the same discourse schema. Both denial and contrast are analysed as involving a revision operation, what sets them apart is merely the type of information being retracted. The formal analysis requires a representational framework that separates different types of information and is therefore implemented in Layered DRT. One of our selling points is the account of the uses of rectification vs. contrastive particles (like German sondern/aber) we (...)
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  35. Emar Maier & Rob van der Sandt (2003). Denial and Correction in Layered DRT. In Proceedings of Diabruck'03. 1-10.
    The central characteristic of denials is that they perform a non-monotonic correction operation on discourse structure. A second characteristic is that they may be used to object to various kinds of information including presuppositions and implicatures. In this paper we first use standard DRT to capture these features, implement an earlier proposal of van der Sandt (1991) in DRT and point out a shortcoming of that approach. We then adopt Layered DRT. LDRT is an extension of standard DRT designed to (...)
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