About this topic
Summary The principle of semantic compositionality (PC) says, in a standard formulation: "The meaning of a complex expression is a function of the meanings of its parts and its mode of composition." It is a guiding principle in most of formal semantics. In the philosophy of language, as well as in linguistics more generally, it is controversial. Some think it is trivially true, or even empirically empty. Others think it is false (e.g. because of quotation, or belief sentences, or idioms). Yet others think it is true, or approximately true, and that it has explanatory value. Intuitions anticipating (PC) were expressed already in medieval times, but it was not stated in its modern form until the early 1980s.
Key works Carnap's Meaning and Necessity contains approximate statements of (PC), under the heading 'Frege's Principle'. Richard Montague (Montague 1974) pioneered formal semantics, and compositionality was central to Montague's approach. It was stated by him as a required property of formal semantics.  Several of the early papers in  Davidson 1984, such as 'Truth and meaning', give argument why natural language must have a property like compositionality (although Davidson does not use the term). In 'Compositionality', included in Partee 2004, Barbara Partee was the first to state (PC) as a principle in the modern format.   Hodges 2001 provides an algebraic framework for compositionality different from Montague's, defines important concepts and proves fundamental theorems.
Introductions Szabó 2008; Pagin & Westerståhl 2010; Pagin & Westerståhl 2010.
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  1. Only and Even: Sanctioning, Compositionality, and Variation in Polarity. (Handout).Anastasia Giannakidou - manuscript
    This is my response as key discussant to papers presented at the workshop on Polarity at this year’s LSA meeting in Anaheim, CA.
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  2. Donkeys Under Discussion.Lucas Champollion, Dylan Bumford & Robert Henderson - forthcoming - Semantics and Pragmatics.
    Donkey sentences have existential and universal readings, but they are not often perceived as ambiguous. We extend the pragmatic theory of nonmaximality in plural definites by Križ (2016) to explain how context disambiguates donkey sentences. We propose that the denotations of such sentences produce truth-value gaps — in certain scenarios the sentences are neither true nor false — and demonstrate that Križ’s pragmatic theory fills these gaps to generate the standard judgments of the literature. Building on Muskens’s (1996) Compositional Discourse (...)
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  3. On the Nature of the Lexicon: The Status of Rich Lexical Meanings.Lotte Hogeweg & Agustin Vicente - forthcoming - Journal of Linguistics.
    The main goal of this paper is to show that there are many phenomena that pertain to the construction of truth-conditional compounds that follow characteristic patterns, and whose explanation requires appealing to knowledge structures organized in specific ways. We review a number of phenomena, ranging from non-homogenous modification and privative modification to polysemy and co-predication that indicate that knowledge structures do play a role in obtaining truth-conditions. After that, we show that several extant accounts that invoke rich lexical meanings to (...)
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  4. States of Affairs as Structured Extensions in Free Logic.Hans-Peter Leeb - forthcoming - Logic and Logical Philosophy:1.
    The search for the extensions of sentences can be guided by Frege’s “principle of compositionality of extension”, according to which the extension of a composed expression depends only on its logical form and the extensions of its parts capable of having extensions. By means of this principle, a strict criterion for the admissibility of objects as extensions of sentences can be derived: every object is admissible as the extension of a sentence that is preserved under the substitution of co-extensional expressions. (...)
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  5. Evidence for Single-Type Semantics—An Alternative To $E$/$T$-Based Dual-Type Semantics.Kristina Liefke & Markus Werning - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.
    Partee (2009) conjectures a formal semantics for natural language (hereafter, single-type semantics) that interprets CPs and referential DPs in the same semantic type: properties of situations. Partee’s semantics contrasts with Montague semantics and its recent contenders (dubbed dual- or multi-type semantics) which assume distinct basic types for the semantic values of referential DPs (i.e. individuals) and CPs (i.e. propositions, truth-values, or sets of assignment functions). Partee’s conjecture is motivated by results in event semantics and discourse representation theory, which support the (...)
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  6. A Note on Compositionality in the First Order Language.Janusz Maciaszek & Luis Villegas-Forero - forthcoming - Bulletin of the Section of Logic.
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  7. Really Complex Demonstratives: A Dilemma.Ethan Nowak - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-24.
    I have two aims for the present paper, one narrow and one broad. The narrow aim is to show that a class of data originally described by Lynsey Wolter empirically undermine the leading treatments of complex demonstratives that have been described in the literature. The broader aim of the paper is to show that Wolter demonstratives, as I will call the constructions I focus on, are a threat not just to existing treatments, but to any possible theory that retains the (...)
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  8. The Myth of Occurrence-Based Semantics.Bryan Pickel & Brian Rabern - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-25.
    The principle of compositionality requires that the meaning of a complex expression remains the same after substitution of synonymous expressions. Alleged counterexamples to compositionality seem to force a theoretical choice: either apparent synonyms are not synonyms or synonyms do not syntactically occur where they appear to occur. Some theorists have instead looked to Frege’s doctrine of “reference shift” according to which the meaning of an expression is sensitive to its linguistic context. This doctrine is alleged to retain the relevant claims (...)
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  9. Semantic Monsters.Brian Rabern - forthcoming - In Heimir Geirsson & Stephen Biggs (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Reference.
    This chapter provides a general overview of the issues surrounding so-called semantic monsters. In section 1, I outline the basics of Kaplan’s framework and spell out how and why the topic of “monsters” arises within that framework. In Section 2, I distinguish four notions of a monster that are discussed in the literature, and show why, although they can pull apart in different frameworks or with different assumptions, they all coincide within Kaplan’s framework. In Section 3, I discuss one notion (...)
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  10. Semantics with Assignment Variables.Alex Silk - forthcoming - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    This book combines insights from philosophy and linguistics to develop a novel framework for theorizing about linguistic meaning and the role of context in interpretation. A key innovation is to introduce explicit representations of context — assignment variables — in the syntax and semantics of natural language. The proposed theory systematizes a spectrum of “shifting” phenomena in which the context relevant for interpreting certain expressions depends on features of the linguistic environment. Central applications include local and nonlocal contextual dependencies with (...)
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  11. Stalnaker’s Assertoric Contents.Cem Şişkolar - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-20.
    I compare Stalnaker’s early take on assertoric content with the one expressed in his recent book (2014). I discern in the latter some striking implications about the semantics of proper names and assertoric content’s relation to semantics.
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  12. The many-property problem is your problem, too.Justin D’Ambrosio - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):811-832.
    The many-property problem has traditionally been taken to show that the adverbial theory of perception is untenable. This paper first shows that several widely accepted views concerning the nature of perception---including both representational and non-representational views---likewise face the many-property problem. It then presents a solution to the many-property problem for these views, but goes on to show how this solution can be adapted to provide a novel, fully compositional solution to the many-property problem for adverbialism. Thus, with respect to the (...)
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  13. Disquotationalism and the Compositional Principles.Richard Kimberly Heck - 2021 - In Carlo Nicolai & Johannes Stern (eds.), Modes of Truth: The Unified Approach to Modality, Truth, and Paradox. Routledge. pp. 105--50.
    What Bar-On and Simmons call 'Conceptual Deflationism' is the thesis that truth is a 'thin' concept in the sense that it is not suited to play any explanatory role in our scientific theorizing. One obvious place it might play such a role is in semantics, so disquotationalists have been widely concerned to argued that 'compositional principles', such as -/- (C) A conjunction is true iff its conjuncts are true -/- are ultimately quite trivial and, more generally, that semantic theorists have (...)
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  14. Binding, Compositionality, and Semantic Values.Michael Glanzberg & Jeffrey C. King - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20.
    In this paper, we defend a traditional approach to semantics, that holds that the outputs of compositional semantics are propositional, i.e. truth conditions. Though traditional, this view has been challenged on a number of fronts over the years. Since classic work of Lewis, arguments have been offered which purport to show that semantic composition requires values that are relativized, e.g. to times, or other parameters that render them no longer propositional. Focusing in recent variants of these arguments involving quantification and (...)
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  15. A Puzzle concerning Compositionality in Machines.Ryan M. Nefdt - 2020 - Minds and Machines 30 (1):47-75.
    This paper attempts to describe and address a specific puzzle related to compositionality in artificial networks such as Deep Neural Networks and machine learning in general. The puzzle identified here touches on a larger debate in Artificial Intelligence related to epistemic opacity but specifically focuses on computational applications of human level linguistic abilities or properties and a special difficulty with relation to these. Thus, the resulting issue is both general and unique. A partial solution is suggested.
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  16. Might Generics.Brian Rabern - 2020 - Snippets 39:8-9.
    How do generics interact with modals? This note offers one observation about an interaction with 'might' that presents a challenge for standard theories.
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  17. Compositionality and Expressive Power: Comments on Pietroski.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2020 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 20 (3):295-310.
    Paul Pietroski has developed a powerful minimalist and internalist alternative to standard compositional semantics, where meanings are identified with instructions to fetch or assemble human concepts in specific ways. In particular, there appears to be no need for Fregean Function Application, as natural language composition only involves processes of combining monadic or dyadic concepts, and Pietroski’s theory can then, allegedly, avoid both singular reference and truth conditions. He also has a negative agenda, purporting to show, roughly, that the vocabulary of (...)
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  18. Smell's Puzzling Discrepancy: Gifted Discrimination, yet Pitiful Identification.Benjamin D. Young - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (1):90-114.
  19. The Philosophy of Linguistics: Scientific Underpinnings and Methodological Disputes.Ryan M. Nefdt - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (12).
    This article surveys the philosophical literature on theoretical linguistics. The focus of the paper is centred around the major debates in the philosophy of linguistics, past and present, with specific relation to how they connect to the philosophy of science. Specific issues such as scientific realism in linguistics, the scientific status of grammars, the methodological underpinnings of formal semantics, and the integration of linguistics into the larger cognitive sciences form the crux of the discussion.
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  20. Compositionality and the Prospect of a Pluralistic Semantic Theory.Adam C. Podlaskowski - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):325-339.
    A semantic theory is committed to semantic monism just in case every particular semantic property posited by the theory is a member of the same kind. The commitment to semantic monism appears to draw some support from the need to provide a compositional semantics, since taking a single kind of semantic property as key to a semantic theory affords a uniform pattern on the basis of which the meaning of any given sentence can be compositionally determined. This line of support (...)
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  21. Context-Free Semantics.Paolo Santorio - 2019 - In Ernie LePore & David Sosa (eds.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Language, Volume 1. Oxford University Press. pp. 208-239.
    On a traditional view, the semantics of natural language makes essential use of a context parameter, i.e. a set of coordinates that represents the situation of speech. In classical semantic frameworks, this parameter plays two key roles: first, context contributes to determining the content of utterance; second, it is crucial for defining logical consequence. I point out that recent empirical proposals about context shift in natural language (in particular, context-shifting semantics in the style of Anand and Nevins 2004) are incompatible (...)
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  22. Unconditionals and Free Choice Unified.Anna Szabolcsi - 2019 - Semantics and Linguistic Theory 29.
    Rawlins (2013: 160) observes that both unconditionals and more classical free choice can be meta-characterized using orthogonality, but does not actually unify the two. One reason may be that in English, different expressions serve in these roles. By contrast, in Hungarian, AKÁR expressions serve as NPIs, FCIs, and unconditional adjuncts, but not as interrogatives or free relatives. This paper offers a unified account of the Hungarian data, extending Chierchia 2013 and Dayal 2013. The account produces the same unconditional meanings that (...)
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  23. Operator Arguments Revisited.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri, John Hawthorne & Peter Fritz - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):2933-2959.
    Certain passages in Kaplan’s ‘Demonstratives’ are often taken to show that non-vacuous sentential operators associated with a certain parameter of sentential truth require a corresponding relativism concerning assertoric contents: namely, their truth values also must vary with that parameter. Thus, for example, the non-vacuity of a temporal sentential operator ‘always’ would require some of its operands to have contents that have different truth values at different times. While making no claims about Kaplan’s intentions, we provide several reconstructions of how such (...)
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  24. The Science of Meaning: Essays on the Metatheory of Natural Language Semantics.Derek Ball & Brian Rabern (eds.) - 2018 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    By creating certain marks on paper, or by making certain sounds-breathing past a moving tongue-or by articulation of hands and bodies, language users can give expression to their mental lives. With language we command, assert, query, emote, insult, and inspire. Language has meaning. This fact can be quite mystifying, yet a science of linguistic meaning-semantics-has emerged at the intersection of a variety of disciplines: philosophy, linguistics, computer science, and psychology. Semantics is the study of meaning. But what exactly is "meaning"? (...)
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  25. On Context Shifters and Compositionality in Natural Languages.Adrian Briciu - 2018 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 25 (1):2-20.
    My modest aim in this paper is to prove certain relations between some type of hyper-intensional operators, namely context shifting operators, and compositionality in natural languages. Various authors (e.g. von Fintel & Matthewson 2008; Stalnaker 2014) have argued that context-shifting operators are incompatible with compositionality. In fact, some of them understand Kaplan’s (1989) famous ban on context-shifting operators as a constraint on compositionality. Others, (e.g. Rabern 2013) take contextshifting operators to be compatible with compositionality but, unfortunately, do not provide a (...)
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  26. The Logical Strength of Compositional Principles.Richard Heck - 2018 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 59 (1):1-33.
    This paper investigates a set of issues connected with the so-called conservativeness argument against deflationism. Although I do not defend that argument, I think the discussion of it has raised some interesting questions about whether what I call “compositional principles,” such as “a conjunction is true iff its conjuncts are true,” have substantial content or are in some sense logically trivial. The paper presents a series of results that purport to show that the compositional principles for a first-order language, taken (...)
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  27. Kinds of Monsters and Kinds of Compositionality.Mark McCullagh - 2018 - Analysis 78 (4):657-666.
    In response to Stefano Predelli's article finding in David Kaplan's “Demonstratives” a distinction between “context shifting” monsters and “operators on character,” I argue that context shifters are operators on character. That conclusion conflicts with the claim that operators on character must be covertly quotational. But that claim is itself unmotivated.
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  28. From Meaning to Content.Francois Recanati - 2018 - In Derek Ball & Brian Rabern (eds.), The Science of Meaning: Essays on the Metatheory of Natural Language Semantics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    According to a widespread picture due to Kaplan, there are two levels of semantic value: character and content. Character is determined by the grammar, and it determines content with respect to context. In this chapter Recanati criticizes that picture on several grounds. He shows that we need more than two levels, and rejects the determination thesis: that linguistic meaning as determined by grammar determines content. Grammatical meaning does not determine assertoric content, he argues, but merely constrains it — speaker’s meaning (...)
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  29. The Proper Treatment of Variables in Predicate Logic.Kai Wehmeier - 2018 - Linguistics and Philosophy 41 (2):209-249.
    In §93 of The Principles of Mathematics, Bertrand Russell observes that “the variable is a very complicated logical entity, by no means easy to analyze correctly”. This assessment is borne out by the fact that even now we have no fully satisfactory understanding of the role of variables in a compositional semantics for first-order logic. In standard Tarskian semantics, variables are treated as meaning-bearing entities; moreover, they serve as the basic building blocks of all meanings, which are constructed out of (...)
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  30. Does Semantic Relationism Solve Frege’s Puzzle?Bryan Pickel & Brian Rabern - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 46 (1):97-118.
    In a series of recent works, Kit Fine, 605–631, 2003, 2007) has sketched a novel solution to Frege’s puzzle. Radically departing from previous solutions, Fine argues that Frege’s puzzle forces us to reject compositionality. In this paper we first provide an explicit formalization of the relational semantics for first-order logic suggested, but only briefly sketched, by Fine. We then show why the relational semantics alone is technically inadequate, forcing Fine to enrich the syntax with a coordination schema. Given this enrichment, (...)
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  31. Pure Quotation, Metalanguage and Metasemantics.André Bazzoni - 2016 - Linguistics and Philosophy 39 (2):119-149.
    Every theory of pure quotation embraces in some form or another the intuitively obvious thesis that pure quotations refer to their quoted expressions. However, they all remain vague about the nature of these latter. This paper proposes to take seriously the fact that quoted items are semantic, not syntactic objects, and to develop therefrom a semantics for pure quotation that retains the basic intuitions and at the same time circumvents standard problems.
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  32. Compositionality Solves Carnap’s Problem.Denis Bonnay & Dag Westerståhl - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (4):721-739.
    The standard relation of logical consequence allows for non-standard interpretations of logical constants, as was shown early on by Carnap. But then how can we learn the interpretations of logical constants, if not from the rules which govern their use? Answers in the literature have mostly consisted in devising clever rule formats going beyond the familiar what follows from what. A more conservative answer is possible. We may be able to learn the correct interpretations from the standard rules, because the (...)
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  33. Prototypes as Compositional Components of Concepts.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2016 - Synthese 193 (9):2899–2927.
    The aim of this paper is to reconcile two claims that have long been thought to be incompatible: that we compositionally determine the meaning of complex expressions from the meaning of their parts, and that prototypes are components of the meaning of lexical terms such as fish, red, and gun. Hypotheses and are independently plausible, but most researchers think that reconciling them is a difficult, if not hopeless task. In particular, most linguists and philosophers agree that is not negotiable; so (...)
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  34. Obligation and Aspect.Benj Hellie - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (4):398-449.
    ‘Fred must open the door’ concerns Fred’s obligations. This obligative meaning is turned off by adding aspect: ‘Fred must have opened/be opening/have been opening the door’ are one and all epistemic. Why? In a nutshell: obligative ’must’ operates on procedural contents of imperative sentences, epistemic ‘must’ on propositional contents of declarative sentences; and adding aspect converts procedural into propositional content.
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  35. Content and Composition. An Essay on Tense, Content and Semantic Value.Sara Packalén - 2016 - Dissertation, Stockholm University
    A remarkable thing about natural language is that we can use it to share our beliefs and thoughts about the world with other speakers of our language. In cases of successful communication, beliefs seem to be transferred from speakers to hearers by means of the hearer recovering the contents of the speaker’s utterances. This is so natural to us that we take it for granted in our everyday life, and rarely stop to think about how it's is possible. Nevertheless, it's (...)
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  36. The Antinomy of the Variable: A Tarskian Resolution.Bryan Pickel & Brian Rabern - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy 113 (3):137-170.
    Kit Fine has reawakened a puzzle about variables with a long history in analytic philosophy, labeling it “the antinomy of the variable”. Fine suggests that the antinomy demands a reconceptualization of the role of variables in mathematics, natural language semantics, and first-order logic. The difficulty arises because: (i) the variables ‘x’ and ‘y’ cannot be synonymous, since they make different contributions when they jointly occur within a sentence, but (ii) there is a strong temptation to say that distinct variables ‘x’ (...)
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  37. Compositional Signaling in a Complex World.Shane Steinert-Threlkeld - 2016 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 25 (3-4):379-397.
    Natural languages are compositional in that the meaning of complex expressions depends on those of the parts and how they are put together. Here, I ask the following question: why are languages compositional? I answer this question by extending Lewis–Skyrms signaling games with a rudimentary form of compositional signaling and exploring simple reinforcement learning therein. As it turns out: in complex worlds, having compositional signaling helps simple agents learn to communicate. I am also able to show that learning the meaning (...)
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  38. The Structure of Semantic Competence: Compositionality as an Innate Constraint of The Faculty of Language.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (4):375–413.
    This paper defends the view that the Faculty of Language is compositional, i.e., that it computes the meaning of complex expressions from the meanings of their immediate constituents and their structure. I fargue that compositionality and other competing constraints on the way in which the Faculty of Language computes the meanings of complex expressions should be understood as hypotheses about innate constraints of the Faculty of Language. I then argue that, unlike compositionality, most of the currently available non-compositional constraints predict (...)
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  39. Compositionality.Michael Johnson - 2015
    Compositionality Compositionality is a concept in the philosophy of language. A symbolic system is compositional if the meaning of every complex expression E in that system depends on, and depends only on, E’s syntactic structure and the meanings of E’s simple parts. If a language is compositional, then the meaning of a sentence … Continue reading Compositionality →.
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  40. Gödel's "Slingshot" Argument and His Onto-Theological System.Srećko Kovač & Kordula Świętorzecka - 2015 - In Kordula Świętorzecka (ed.), Gödel's Ontological Argument: History, Modifications, and Controversies. Semper. pp. 123-162.
  41. What is Wrong with Classical Negation?Nils Kürbis - 2015 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 92 (1):51-86.
    The focus of this paper are Dummett's meaning-theoretical arguments against classical logic based on consideration about the meaning of negation. Using Dummettian principles, I shall outline three such arguments, of increasing strength, and show that they are unsuccessful by giving responses to each argument on behalf of the classical logician. What is crucial is that in responding to these arguments a classicist need not challenge any of the basic assumptions of Dummett's outlook on the theory of meaning. In particular, I (...)
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  42. Compositionality as Weak Supervenience.Toby Napoletano - 2015 - Synthese 192 (1):201-220.
    This paper argues against Zoltán Szabó’s claim in “Compositionality as Supervenience” that we ought to understand the principle of compositionality as the idea that in natural language, the meanings of complex expressions strongly supervene on the meanings of their constituents and how the constituents are combined. The argument is that if we understand compositionality Szabó’s way, then compositionality can play no role in explanations of the acquirability of natural languages, because it makes these explanations circular. This, in turn, would undermine (...)
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  43. Embedding Denial.David Ripley - 2015 - In Colin Caret & Ole Hjortland (eds.), Foundations of Logical Consequence. Oxford University Press. pp. 289-309.
    Suppose Alice asserts p, and the Caterpillar wants to disagree. If the Caterpillar accepts classical logic, he has an easy way to indicate this disagreement: he can simply assert ¬p. Sometimes, though, things are not so easy. For example, suppose the Cheshire Cat is a paracompletist who thinks that p ∨ ¬p fails (in familiar (if possibly misleading) language, the Cheshire Cat thinks p is a gap). Then he surely disagrees with Alice's assertion of p, but should himself be unwilling (...)
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  44. What Do Quantifier Particles Do?Anna Szabolcsi - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (2):159-204.
    In many languages, the same particles that form quantifier words also serve as connectives, additive and scalar particles, question markers, roots of existential verbs, and so on. Do these have a unified semantics, or do they merely bear a family resemblance? Are they aided by silent operators in their varied roles―if yes, what operators? I dub the particles “quantifier particles” and refer to them generically with capitalized versions of the Japanese morphemes. I argue that both MO and KA can be (...)
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  45. Intrinsic Utility’s Compositionality.Paul Weirich - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (3):545--563.
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  46. Depiction and Composition.Ben Blumson - 2014 - In Resemblance and Representation. Open Book Publishers. pp. 99-116.
    Traditionally, the structure of a language is revealed by constructing an appropriate theory of meaning for that language, which exhibits how – and whether – the meaning of sentences in the language depends upon the meaning of their parts. In this paper, I argue that whether – and how – what pictures represent depends on what their parts represent should likewise by revealed by the construction of appropriate theories of representation for the symbol system of those pictures. This generalisation, I (...)
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  47. Interpreting Images.Ben Blumson - 2014 - In Resemblance and Representation. Open Book Publishers. pp. 118-138.
    Just as it’s possible to understand novel sentences without having heard them before, it’s possible to understand novel pictures without having seen them before. But these possibilities are often supposed to have totally different explanations: whereas the ability to understand novel sentences is supposed to be explained by tacit knowledge of a compositional theory of meaning for their language, the ability to understand novel pictures is supposed to be explained differently. In this paper I argue against this disanalogy: insofar as (...)
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  48. Mixed Quotation: The Grammar of Apparently Transparent Opacity.Emar Maier - 2014 - 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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  49. Pure Quotation.Emar Maier - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (9):615-630.
    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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  50. Quantifier Words and Their Multifunctional(?) Parts.Anna Szabolcsi, James Doh Whang & Vera Zu - 2014 - Language and Linguistics 15 (1).
    Formal semantic analyses often take words to be minimal building blocks for the purposes of compositionality. But various recent theories of morphology and syntax have converged on the view that there is no demarcation line corresponding to the word level. The same conclusion has emerged from the compositional semantics of superlatives. In the spirit of extending compositionality below the word level, this paper explores how a small set of particles (Japanese KA and MO, Chinese DOU, and Hungarian VALA/VAGY, MIND, and (...)
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