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 is mixed the shift is, to a first approximation at least, from '...' to ``what x calls '...''', where x is a variable whose value is determined by the context. We argue that quotation is generally context dependent in various ways, and that some of these ways are presuppositional in nature; we present a detailed analysis of the presuppositions in question. (shrink)
I argue that indirect quotation in the first person simple present tense (self-quotation) provides a class of infallible assertions. The defense of this conclusion examines the joint descriptive and constitutive functions of performative utterances and argues that a parallel treatment of belief ascription is in order. The parallel account yields a class of infallible belief ascriptions that makes no appeal to privileged modes of access. Confronting a dilemma formulated by Crispin Wright for theories of self-knowledge gives an epistemological (...) setting for the account of infallible belief ascription. (shrink)
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.
Analyses of quotation have assumed that quotations are referring expressions while disagreeing over details. That assumption is unnecessary and unacceptable in its implications. It entails a quasi-Parmenidean impossibility of meaningfully denying the meaningfulness or referential function of anything uttered, for it implies that: 'Kqxf' is not a meaningful expression 'The' is not a referring expression are, if meaningful, false. It also implies that ill formed constructions like: 'The' is 'the' are well formed tautologies. Such sentences make apparent the need (...) for what is commonly explicit, a genuine referring expression, a noun phrase, usually a description, to which the quotation is appositional. A quotation is not itself a word, though it may contain such. The markers signal that the enquoted material is like a sentence-embedded color patch, material displayed to facilitate reference to something identifiable by/with it specified by the noun phrase it subserves. (shrink)
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 non-constituents. (shrink)
There are at least four varieties of quotation, including pure, direct, indirect and mixed. A theory of quotation, we argue, should give a unified account of these varieties of quotation. Mixed quotes such as 'Alice said that life is 'difficult to understand'', in which an utterance is directly and indirectly quoted concurrently, is an often overlooked variety of quotation. We show that the leading theories of pure, direct, and indirect quotation are unable to account for (...) mixed quotation and therefore unable to provide a unified theory. In the second half of the paper we develop a unified theory of quotation based on Davidson's demonstrative theory. 'Language is the instrument it is because the same expression, with semantic features (meaning) unchanged, can serve countless purposes.' (Davidson 1968). (shrink)
Research on quotation has mostly focussed in the past years on mixed or open quotation. In a recent book-length discussion of the topic, Cappelen and Lepore have abandon their previous Davidsonian allegiances, proposing a new view that they describe as minimalist, to a good extend on the basis of facts concerning mixed quotation. In this paper I critically review Cappelen and Lepore’s new minimalist proposals, briefly outlining my preferred Davidsonian view as a useful foil. I explore first (...) their allegedly non-Davidsonian, anti-contextualist views about pure quotation, and then their new views on mixed quotation. I have complained in the first place that their proposals are not presented as perspicuously as they should be; and in the second place that, when we have a clearer picture of what appears to be the favoured account, the differences with their previous proposals and others already in the literature are not as great as they claim. (shrink)
Starting from the familiar observation that no straightforward treatment of pure quotation can be compositional in the standard (homomorphism) sense, we introduce general compositionality, which can be described as compositionality that takes linguistic context into account. A formal notion of linguistic context type is developed, allowing the context type of a complex expression to be distinct from those of its constituents. We formulate natural conditions under which an ordinary meaning assignment can be non-trivially extended to one that is sensitive (...) to context types and satisfies general compositionality. As our main example we work out a Fregean treatment of pure quotation, but we also indicate that the method applies to other kinds of context, e.g. intensional contexts. (shrink)
As is well known, Frege (1892) argued that the sentential complements of propositional attitude predicates refer to propositions. W.V. Quine, who disdained intensional objects like propositions, briefly suggested instead an analysis of such complements crucially involving quotation (1956), and Donald Davidson took up and elaborated this suggestion in a number of papers (1969, 1975, 1979). The main purpose of this paper is to argue against quotational analyses of propositional attitudes, although I’ll suggest at the end that the result may (...) have consequences for the analysis of quotation itself. In the second section below we will review Quine’s comments and Davidson’s development of them. In §3 we look at considerations involving proper names which seem at first to go in favor of this kind of analysis, but which ultimately probably do not. In §4 we turn to an argument against quotational analyses – the fact that it seems to deny languageless creatures1 propositional attitudes. The final section contains some concluding remarks. (shrink)
The issues addressed in philosophical papers on quotation generally concern only a particular type of quotation, which I call ‘closed quotation’. The other main type, ‘open quotation’, is ignored, and this neglect leads to bad theorizing. Not only is a general theory of quotation out of reach: the specific phenomenon of closed quotation itself cannot be properly understood if it is not appropriately situated within the kind to which it belongs. Once the distinction between (...) open and closed quotation has been drawn and properly appreciated, it is tempting to consider that only closed quotation is relevant to semantics. Open quotation is more a matter of pragmatics: it is a matter of what people do with words, rather than a matter of content and truth-conditions. In this way one can provide the beginning of a justification for the neglect of open quotation in current semantic theorizing. There is some truth in this view, yet the phenomenon of ‘mixed quotation’, investigated at length in this paper, is interesting precisely because it shows that things are not so simple. Important issues concerning the interface between semantics and pragmatics will thus be raised. (shrink)
Can one and the same quotation be used on different occasions to quote distinct objects? The view that it can is taken for granted throughout the literature (e.g. Goddard & Routley 1966, Christensen 1967, Davidson 1979, Goldstein 1984, Jorgensen et al 1984, Atlas 1989, Clark & Gerrig 1990, Washington 1992, García-Carpintero 1994, 2004, 2005, Reimer 1996, Saka 1998, Wertheimer 1999). Garcia-Carpintero (1994, p. 261) illustrates with the quotation expression ''gone''. He says it can be used to quote any (...) of the following items. (shrink)
This paper discusses empty quotation (‘’ is an empty string) and lexical quotation (his praise was, quote, fulsome, unquote), it challenges the minimal theory of quotation (‘ “x” ’ quotes ‘x’) and it defends the identity theory of quotation. In the process it illuminates disciplinary differences between the science of language and the philosophy of language. First, most philosophers assume, without argument, that language includes writing, whereas linguists have reason to identify language with speech (plus sign (...) language). Second, philosophers tend to think of languages as abstract objects whereas linguists tend to think of them as natural objects. These foundational differences help to explain disagreements in grammaticality judgments and consequent disagreements in semantic theory. (shrink)
This essay proposes a systematic semantic account of Davidson’s demonstrative theory of pure quotation (Davidson Theory and decision, 11: 27–40, 1979) within a classic Kaplan-style framework for indexical languages (Kaplan 1977). I argue that Davidson’s informal hints must be developed in terms of the idea of ‘character-external’ aspects of meaning, that is, in terms of truth-conditionally idle restrictions on the class of contexts in which quotation marks may appropriately be used. When thus developed, Davidson’s theory may correctly take (...) into account the intuitively special status of disquotational sentences, such as “Boston’ refers to Boston’, and “‘Boston” refers to ‘Boston”, and is thus immune from the important objections recently raised in Cappelen and Lepore 2007. (shrink)
Starting with Frege, the semantics (and pragmatics) of quotation has received a steady flow of attention over the last one hundred years. It has not, however, been subject to the same kind of intense debate and scrutiny as, for example, both the semantics of definite descriptions and propositional attitude verbs. Many philosophers probably share Davidson's experience: ‘When I was initiated into the mysteries of logic and semantics, quotation was usually introduced as a somewhat shady device, and the introduction (...) was accompanied by a stern sermon on the sin of confusing the use and mention of expressions’ (Davidson 1979, p. 79). Those who leave it at that, however, miss out on one of the most difficult and interesting topics in the philosophy of language. (shrink)
This paper develops the view presented in our 1997 paper "Varieties of Quotation". In the first part of the paper we show how phenomena such as scare-quotes, echoing and mimicry can be treated as what we call Speech Act Heuristics. We then defend a semantic account of mixed quotation. Along the way we discuss the role of indexicals in mixed quotation and the noncancelability of reference to words in mixed quotation. We also respond to some objections (...) raised by Recanati, Saka, Stainton and Reimer. (shrink)
In his paper “Quotation”, Donald Davidson contrasts three theories about how quotation marks do their work, that is, about how tokens like this one: "sheep” refer to the type of which the following is a token: sheep. He rejects the “proper name” and “spelling” theories, and propounds and defends a new account of quotation which he calls the “demonstrative theory”. I shall argue that the truth about how quotation works has points of resemblance with both the (...) spelling and demonstrative theories, though it is not a mere combination of elements from those two. It is closer to Davidson’s theory than to the other, and I have reached it by developing the pioneering start that he provided. (shrink)
In "Demonstratives or Demonstrations", Marga Reimer argues that quotation marks are demonstrations and that expressions enclosed with them are demonstratives. In this paper, I argue against her view. There are two objections. The first objection is that Reimer''s view has unattractive consequences: there is more ambiguity, there are more demonstratives, and there are more English expressions than we thought. The second objection is that, unlike other ambiguous expressions, some expressions that are ambiguous on Reimer''s view can''t be disambiguated by (...) using subscripts. This suggests that, contrary to her view, those expressions aren't really ambiguous. (shrink)
This paper presents syntactic and semantic rules for a fragment of English with mixed quotation. The fragment shows that quotation has a recursive and compositional structure. Quoted expressions turn out to denote characters, so the semantics of quotation simulates the pragmatics of speech, including dependence on utterance contexts and reference to mental entities. The analysis also accommodates varieties of unquotation, pure quotation, and causal reference.
A striking feature of Cappelen and Lepore's Davidsonian theory of quotation is the range of the overlooked data to which it offers an elegant semantical analysis. Recently, François Recanati argued for a pragmatic account of quotation, on the basis of new data that Cappelen and Lepore overlooked. In this article I expose what seem to me the weak points in Recanati's alternative approach, and show how proponents of the demonstrative theory can account for the data on which Recanati (...) bases his theory. (shrink)
A standard view about the quotation is that ‘the result of enclosing any expression...in quotation marks is a constant singular term’ [Wallace 1972, p.237]. There is little sense in treating the entire complex of an expression flanked by a right and left quotation mark, a quotation term for short, as a ‘constant singular term’ of a language L if that complex is not, in some sense, itself a constituent of L. So, just as (1) contains twenty-seven (...) tokened symbols (including twenty-three roman letters, three spaces and a period), so too, on the standard view about quotation terms, (2) contains twenty-nine tokened symbols (including twenty-two roman letters, four spaces, a left and right quotation mark, and a period). (shrink)
It has proved challenging to account for the dual role that a directly quoted part of a 'that'-clause plays in so-called mixed quotation. The Davidsonian account, elaborated by Cappelen and Lepore, handles many cases well; but it fails to accommodate a crucial feature of mixed quotation: that the part enclosed in quotation marks is used to specify not what the quoter says when she utters it, but what the quoted speaker says when she utters it. Here I (...) show how the Davidsonian can do better. The proposal rests on the idea that mixed quotation involves deferred demonstration: a mixed quotati on specifies what the subject says partly by demonstrating the quoter's utterance of the unquoted part and partly by deferred-demonstrating the subject's utterance of the quotation-marked part. (shrink)
We discuss two kinds of quotation, namely indirect quotation (e.g., 'Anita said that Mexico is beautiful') and pure quotation (e.g., 'Mexico' has six letters). With respect to each, we have both a negative and a positive plaint. The negative plaint is that the strict Davidsonian (1968, 1979a) treatment of indirect and pure quotation cannot be correct. The positive plaint is an alternative account of how quotation of these two sorts works.
In this essay I argue for a constructivist account of the entities composing the object languages of Davidsonian truth theories and a quotational account of the reference from metalinguistic expressions to interpreted utterances. I claim that ‘radical quotation’ requires an ontology of repeatable events with strong similarities to Derrida's account of iterable events. In part one I summarise Davidson's account of interpretation and Olav Gjelsivk's arguments to the effect that the syntactic individuation of linguistic objects is only workable if (...) interpreters make richer assumptions about semantic properties than Davidson can tolerate. In part two I show that the objectivist account of syntactic objects which Gjelsivk's arguments presuppose is incompatible with one corollary of Davidsonian semantic indeterminacy: namely, the relativity of language to interpretative scheme. In place of this an account of radical interpretation is presented in which a quotational theory of metalinguistic reference furnishes the requisite relativity. In part three I argue that this account requires that particular utterance events must be repeatable to be radically quotable and give reasons why particularity and repeatability are not incompatible. (shrink)
Cappelen and Lepore's "Uarieties of Quotation" builds on Davidson (1968, 1979) to give an account of mixed quotation. The result is a hach paper, which introduces interesting data and raises many thought-provoking questions. Given this, I can't possibly discuss the paper in its entirety. Instead, I intend simply to paraphrase their position, develop it a little, and then raise a few concerns.
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 quotation marks. (shrink)
Quote marks, I claim, serve to select from the multiple ostensions that are produced whenever any expression is uttered; they act to constrain pragmatic ambiguity or indeterminacy. My argument proceeds by showing that the proffered account fares better than its rivals-the Name, Description, Demonstrative, and Identity Theories. Along the way I shall need to explain and emphasize that quoting is not simply the same thing as mentioning. Quoting, but not mentioning, relies on the use of conventional devices.
We use quotation marks when we wish to refer to an expression. We can and do so refer even when this expression is composed of characters that do not occur in our alphabet. That's why Tarski, Quine, and Geach's theories of quotation don't work. The proposals of Davidson, Frege, and C. Washington, however, do not provide a plausible account of quotation either. (Section I). The problem is to construct a Tarskian theory of truth for an object language (...) that contains quotation marks, without appealing to quotation marks in the metalanguage. I propose to supply Tarski's truth definition with one axiom that determines the denotation of all expressions containing quotation marks. According to this axiom, quotation marks create a non-extensional context. Since admitting such contexts does not lead to any difficulties in the recursive truth characterization, we may indeed dispense with extensionalism. (Section II). Finally, I argue that we classify and denote expressions in the very same way that we classify and denote extralinguistic entities. Both tokens and types of written signs can be easily incorporated into the naturalist's worldview. (Section III). (shrink)
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.
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 `mixed' examples, I claim that the line between direct and indirect is blurred and I propose a unified analysis of speech reporting in which a general mechanism of mixed quotation replaces the classical two-fold distinction. (shrink)
This is a lively, provocative book and many of its arguments are convincing. In this critical study I summarize the book, then discuss some of the authors’ claims, dwelling on three issues: their objections to the view of François Recanati on “pre-semantic” effects; the relation between their theory of quotation and the Tarskian “Proper Name Theory,” which they reject; and their treatment of mixed quotation, which rests on the claim that quotation expressions are “syntactic chameleons.” I argue (...) that the objections to Recanati don’t expose any problem with his view, and that the “Proper Name Theory” has all the virtues of their own proposal. Finally I raise some queries about the technical apparatus of syntactic chameleonism. (shrink)
The essay tries to blend diverse strands of thought. First comes a criticism of Quine's view(s) on quotation. This develops, somehow, into an ontology for linguistic items. Out of this, again, grows some more general reflections on the notions of speaker and speaking the same language: the identification of someone as a speaker becomes a central task, and the recognition of someone as speaking is of crucial importance in the acknowledgement that something is said. Running through it all, more (...) as ghost then spirit, is the seam of holism. (H. Johannessen, Universitetet i Trondheim; now at the University of Bergen). (shrink)
Conventions in the use of names are discussed, particularly names of linguistic expressions. Also the reference of measure terms like ‘kg’ is discussed, and it is found analogous in important respects to expression names. Some new light is shed on the token-type distinction. Applications to versions of the liar paradox are shown. The use of quotation marks is critically examined.
Critique of Alonzo Church's Translation Test. Church's test is based on a common misconception of the grammar of (so-called) quotations. His conclusion (that metalogical truths are actually contingent empirical truths) is a reductio of that conception. Chruch's argument begs the question by assuming that translation must preserve reference despite altering logical form of statements whose truth is explained by their form.
In this paper I begin to develop an account of the acquaintance that each of us has with our own conscious states and processes. The account is a speculative proposal about human mental architecture and specifically about the nature of the concepts via which we think in first personish ways about our qualia. In a certain sense my account is neutral between physicalist and dualist accounts of consciousness. As will be clear, a dualist could adopt the account I will offer (...) while maintaining that qualia themselves are non-physical properties. In this case the non-physical nature of qualia may play no role in accounting for the features of acquaintance. But although the account could be used by a dualist, its existence provides support for physicalism. (shrink)
Now in a new edition, this volume updates Davidson's exceptional Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation (1984), which set out his enormously influential philosophy of language. The original volume remains a central point of reference, and a focus of controversy, with its impact extending into linguistic theory, philosophy of mind, and epistemology. Addressing a central question--what it is for words to mean what they do--and featuring a previously uncollected, additional essay, this work will appeal to a wide audience of philosophers, linguists, (...) and psychologists. (shrink)
Quotation is employed in mentioning linguistic items with varying degrees of specificity depending upon context, occasionally in the service of multiple purposes. It is also often employed in cases where the mentioned items are simultaneously being used in their ordinary roles. I argue that against appearances to the contrary, the recently proposed formal disambiguation approach to quotation fails to account for this quotational mixing of use and mention. I further argue that, given the ubiquity of the mixing in (...) question, the demonstrative theory, in its ability to accommodate such cases, fares better than its rivals. (shrink)
According to quotational theory, indirect ascriptions of propositional attitudes should be analyzed as direct ascriptions of attitudes towards natural-language sentences specified by quotations. A famous objection to this theory is Church's translation argument. In the literature several objections to the translation argument have been raised, which in this paper are shown to be unsuccessful. This paper offers a new objection. We argue against Church's presupposition that quoted expressions, since they are mentioned, cannot be translated. In many contexts quoted expressions are (...) used and mentioned simultaneously, and the quotational analysis of propositional-attitude ascriptions is such a context. Hence the translation argument is unsound. (shrink)
The analysis of mixed quotation proposed in Cappelen & Lepore (1997), purportedly as a development of Davidson's accounts of direct and of indirect quotation, is critically examined. It is argued that the analysis fails to specify either necessary or sufficient conditions on mixed quotation, and that the way it has been defended by its proponents makes its alleged Davidsonian parentage questionable.
The influence of Greek sources on the Arab philosophers is both obvious and important. What is less clear is how the quality of the translations from which the philosophers worked affected their understanding of the points that the Greek writers were making. This article investigates one small but self-contained topic from within the field of translation literature, covering the translations of poetic quotations in the Rhetoric of Aristotle in its Arabic translation, together with an analysis of the types of mistakes (...) to be found there. In itself this is of no more than curiosity value, but an application of the lessons to be learnt here to a linguistic study of Arabic philosophical commentaries, and, by extension, to philosophical theory, will be of clear importance. (shrink)
In a rare book published in Trivandrum (1927), entitled Sphoṭasiddhiḥ Bharatamiśrapranītā , we find an interesting argument in defense of sphoṭa -theory, based on āgamic quotations, especially RV X, 71, 4 (the stanza where the poet describes his own activity in perceiving the essence of Speech as like a beloved woman naked). The main idea is that the numerous word sphoṭas , as an atemporal multiplicity, free from any sensuous quality, were the objects of the Ṛṣis’ primordial intuition. So the (...) internal diversity of the Veda is not a mere subjective convention in order to adapt the highest truth to limited human minds. The absolute brahman has an objective cosmogonical power of which the temporal mutiplicity is only the very last result. There is also an intermediate ideal multiplicity, which the Veda, as eternal and transcending the guru-śiṣya transmission, consists in. (shrink)
Frege's theory of indirect contexts and the shift of sense and reference in these contexts has puzzled many. What can the hierarchy of indirect senses, doubly indirect senses, and so on, be? Donald Davidson gave a well-known 'unlearnability' argument against Frege's theory. The present paper argues that the key to Frege's theory lies in the fact that whenever a reference is specified (even though many senses determine a single reference), it is specified in a particular way, so that giving a (...) reference implies giving a sense; and that one must be 'acquainted' with the sense. It is argued that an indirect sense must be 'immediately revelatory' of its reference. General principles for Frege's doctrine of sense and reference are sated, for both direct and indirect quotation, to be understood iteratively. I also discuss Frege's doctrine of tensed and first person statements in the light of my analysis. The views of various other authors are examined. The conclusion is to ascribe to Frege an implicit doctrine of acquaintance similar to that of Russell. (shrink)