Year:

  1.  25
    Coordinating Ifs.Justin Khoo - 2021 - Journal of Semantics 38 (2):341-361.
    Accounting for the behavior of conjoined and disjoined if-clauses is not easy for standard theories of conditionals that treat if as either an operator or restrictor. In this paper, I discuss four observations about coordinated if-clauses, and motivate a semantics for conditionals that reorients the compositional structure of the restrictor theory. On my proposal, if-clauses provide restrictions on modal domains, but they do so by way of a higher type intermediary—a set of propositions—that is collapsed by the modal. I argue (...)
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  2.  10
    Deferred Reference of Proper Names.Katarzyna Kijania-Placek & Paweł Banaś - 2021 - Journal of Semantics 38 (2):195-219.
    In this paper, we argue that proper names have deferred uses. Following Geoffrey Nunberg, we describe the deferred reference mechanism by which a linguistic expression refers to something in the world by exploiting a contextually salient relation between an index and the referent in question. Nunberg offered a thorough analysis of deferred uses of indexicals but claimed that proper names do not permit such uses. We, however, offer a number of examples of uses of proper names which pass grammatical tests (...)
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  3.  2
    Disjunction in Negative Contexts: A Cross-Linguistic Experimental Study.Oana Lungu, Anamaria Fălăuș & Francesca Panzeri - 2021 - Journal of Semantics 38 (2):221-247.
    This squib reports experimental findings from a study investigating the interpretation of simple disjunction in negative contexts in four languages: Italian, French, English, Romanian. We provide evidence that casts doubt on the robustness of the distinction between PPI disjunction languages and non-PPI disjunction languages. The difference turns out to be less clear-cut than assumed in the theoretical or experimental literature. The results reported here inform current accounts of positive polarity and flesh out some methodological issues raised by the various tasks (...)
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  4.  8
    The Semantics of Emotive Markers and Other Illocutionary Content.Jessica Rett - 2021 - Journal of Semantics 38 (2):305-340.
    I identify a class of expressions called ‘emotive markers,’ exemplified by fortunately and alas, which encode not-at-issue information about the speaker’s emotive attitude towards the content of the utterances they occur in. I argue that there are important differences emotive markers and other encoders of not-at-issue content, in particular utterance modifiers like frankly or evidential adverbs like apparently. In contrast to these, emotive markers can result in Moore’s Paradox and always range over their local argument. I conclude that the contribution (...)
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  5.  2
    The Semantics of Comparatives: A Difference-Based Approach.Linmin Zhang & Jia Ling - 2021 - Journal of Semantics 38 (2):249-303.
    Degree semantics has been developed to study how the meanings of measurement and comparison are encoded in natural language. Within degree semantics, this paper proposes a difference-based approach to analyze the semantics of comparatives. The motivation is the measurability and comparability of differences involved in comparatives. The main claim is that comparatives encode a subtraction equation among three scalar values: two measurements along an interval scale and the difference between them. We contribute two innovations: using interval arithmetic to implement subtraction, (...)
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  6.  11
    Structured Plurality Reconsidered.Berta Grimau - 2021 - Journal of Semantics 38 (1):145-193.
    In this article, I address the question of the semantic analysis of structured plurals, that is, expressions like these children and those children, which seem to refer to pluralities of individuals divided into groups. In the first half of the article, I describe a variety of structured plural expressions and predicates they can combine with and I point out the difficulties faced by two extant approaches to the semantics of plurals: inflationary and cover-based semantics. In the second half of the (...)
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  7.  4
    Comparisons of Equality With German so…Wie, and the Relationship Between Degrees and Properties.Vera Hohaus & Malte Zimmermann - 2021 - Journal of Semantics 38 (1):95-143.
    We present a compositionally transparent, unified semantic analysis of two kinds of so…wie-equative constructions in German, namely degree equatives and property equatives in the domain of individuals or events. Unlike in English and many other European languages, both equative types in German feature the parameter marker so, suggesting a unified analysis. We show that the parallel formal expression of German degree and property equatives is accompanied by a parallel syntactic distribution, and by identical semantic properties: Both equative types allow for (...)
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  8.  49
    Domains of Polarity Items.Vincent Homer - 2021 - Journal of Semantics 38 (1):1-48.
    This article offers a unified theory of the licensing of Negative and Positive Polarity Items, focusing on the acceptability conditions of PPIs of the some-type, and NPIs of the any-type. It argues that licensing has both a syntactic and a semantic component. On the syntactic side, the acceptability of PIs is checked in constituents; in fact, for any given PI, only some constituents, referred to as `domains', are eligible for the evaluation of that PI. The semantic dimension of licensing consists (...)
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  9.  5
    Deriving Dual Dimensions of Bias: Preposed Negation Questions with EVEN.Sunwoo Jeong - 2021 - Journal of Semantics 38 (1):49-94.
    Polar interrogatives with preposed negation convey positive epistemic bias. Polar interrogatives with even-type expressions, including prosodically stressed NPIs and minimizer NPIs, convey negative epistemic bias and often have a rhetorical flavor. This paper examines hybrid PQ constructions with both preposed negations and even-type expressions. It first presents a series of experimental studies which reveal that even-PNQs are characterized by complex, dual dimensions of bias contributed compositionally by both the preposed negation on the one hand and the even-type expression on the (...)
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