About this topic
Key works Seminal papers on pronominal anaphora include Geach 1967, Karttunen 1976, and Evans 1977. Work on pronominal anaphora has also led to many theoretical innovations. See, for example, Kamp 1981, Heim 1982, Groenendijk & Stokhof 1991, Muskens 1996, Jacobson 1999, Asher & Lascarides 2003, and Elbourne 2005. When it comes to non-pronominal anaphora, Roberts 1989 and Stone 1999 are the key works on modal anaphora. See Partee 1973, Partes 1984, and Stone & Hardt 1999 on temporal anaphora. Consult Asher 1993 for abstract object anaphora (incl. propositions, facts, events). Krifka 2013, Murray 2014, and van Elswyk 2019 discuss propositional anaphora. For property or verb phrase anaphora, see Partee & Bach 1984 and Prüst et al 1994. See van Der Sandt 1992 for an anaphoric treatment of presuppositions, Sommers 1983 for an anaphoric treatment of names, Nouwen 2003 on complement anaphora, and Grover et al 1975 for an anaphoric theory of truth. 
Introductions For introductions to pronominal anaphora, see King & Lewis 2016, Neale 2006, and Büring 2011. There is currently no introduction to non-pronominal anaphora. 
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304 found
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  1. Anaphora Without Indices: Dynamics of Centering.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    The standard way to represent anaphoric dependencies is to co-index the anaphor with its antecedent in the syntactic input to semantic rules, which then interpret such indices as variables. Dynamic theories (e.g. Kamp’s DRT, Heim’s File Change Semantics, Muskens’s Compositional DRT, etc) combine syntactic co-indexation with semantic left-to-right asymmetry. This captures the fact that the anaphor gets its referent from the antecedent and not vice versa. Formally, a text updates the input state of information to the output state. In particular, (...)
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  2. Nominal Quantification as Top-Level Anaphora.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    So far, we have focused on discourse reference to atomic individuals and specific times, events, and states. The basic point of the argument was that all types of discourse reference involve attention-guided anaphora (in the sense of Bittner 2012: Ch. 2). We now turn to discourses involving anaphora to and by quantificational expressions. Today, we focus on quantification over individuals but the analysis we develop will directly generalize to other semantic types. The basic idea is that quantification is one more (...)
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  3. Donkey Sentences and Quantifier Variability.Berit Brogaard - manuscript
    the Central Division of the APA in Chicago, April 19-21 2007. The paper proposes an account of conditional donkey sentences, such as ‘if a farmer buys a donkey, he usually vaccinates it’, which accommodates the fact that the adverb of quantification seems to affect the interpretation of pronouns that are not within its syntactic scope. The analysis defended takes donkey pronouns to go proxy for partitive noun phrases with varying quantificational force. The variation in the interpretation of donkey pronouns, it (...)
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  4. Choosing Short: An Explanation of the Similarities and Dissimilarities in the Distribution Patterns of Binding and Covaluation.Mihnea Capraru - manuscript
    Covaluation is the generalization of coreference introduced by Tanya Reinhart. Covaluation distributes in patterns that are very similar yet not entirely identical to those of binding. On a widespread view, covaluation and binding distribute similarly because binding is defined in terms of covaluation. Yet on Reinhart's view, binding and covaluation are not related that way: binding pertains to syntax, covaluation does not. Naturally, the widespread view can easily explain the similarities between binding and covaluation, whereas Reinhart can easily explain the (...)
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  5. Witnesses.Matthew Mandelkern - manuscript
    The meaning of definite descriptions (like ‘the King of France’, ‘the girl’, etc.) has been a central topic in philosophy and linguistics for the past century. Indefinites (‘Something is on the floor’, ‘A child sat down’, etc.) have been relatively neglected in philosophy, under the assumption that they can be unproblematically treated as existential quantifiers. However, an important tradition in linguistic semantics, drawing from Stoic logic, draws out patterns which suggest that indefinites are not well treated simply as existential quantifiers. (...)
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  6. Optimality Theory & Cognitive Science.Adrian Brasoveanu - manuscript
    donkey anaphora, quantificational and modal subordination, static and dynamic approaches to mood, tense and aspect, entailment in natural language, parallels between the individual, temporal and modal domain.
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  7. Structured Anaphora to Quantifier Domains: A Unified Account of Quantificational and Modal Subordination.Adrian Brasoveanu - manuscript
    The paper proposes an account of the contrast (noticed in Karttunen 1976) between the interpretations of the following two discourses: Harvey courts a girl at every convention. {She is very pretty. vs. She always comes to the banquet with him.}. The initial sentence is ambiguous between two quantifier scopings, but the first discourse as a whole allows only for the wide-scope indefinite reading, while the second allows for both. This cross-sentential interaction between quantifier scope and anaphora is captured by means (...)
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  8. Structured Anaphora to Quantifier Domains: A Unified Account of Quantificational & Modal Subordination and Exceptional Wide Scope.Adrian Brasoveanu - manuscript
    The paper proposes a novel analysis of quantificational subordination, e.g. Harvey courts a woman at every convention. {She is very pretty. vs. She always comes to the banquet with him.} (Karttunen 1976), in particular of the fact that the indefinite in the initial sentence can have wide or narrow scope, but the first discourse as a whole allows only for the wide scope reading, while the second discourse allows for both readings. The cross-sentential interaction between scope and anaphora is captured (...)
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  9. Uniqueness Effects in Correlatives.Adrian Brasoveanu - manuscript
    paper, abstract, revised handout, original handoutto appear in the Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 12 (Oslo, 2007). The paper argues that the variability of the uniqueness effects exhibited by Hindi and Romanian correlatives is due to their mixed referential and quantificational nature. The account involves an articulated notion of quantification, independently motivated by donkey anaphora and quantificational subordination and consisting of both (discourse) referential components and non-referential components (dynamic operators over plural info states). The variable uniqueness effects emerge out of (...)
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  10. The Quantified Argument Calculus and Natural Logic.Hanoch Ben-Yami - forthcoming - Dialectica.
    The formalisation of Natural Language arguments in a formal language close to it in syntax has been a central aim of Moss’s Natural Logic. I examine how the Quantified Argument Calculus (Quarc) can handle the inferences Moss has considered. I show that they can be incorporated in existing versions of Quarc or in straightforward extensions of it, all within sound and complete systems. Moreover, Quarc is closer in some respects to Natural Language than are Moss’s systems – for instance, is (...)
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  11. Topic States in Mandarin Discourse.Maria Bittner - forthcoming - In Michael Opper (ed.), Proceedings of the 25th North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics. Ohio State University.
    I propose that Mandarin 。-sentences (units marked by 。) are aspectual topic-comment sequences, where an initial update (terminating in a pause) introduces a topic state for comment by one or more clauses. Each comment anaphorically refers to the topic state via the aspect feature of the verbal predicate. This proposal explains why Mandarin 。-sentences have controversial boundaries, since speakers may disagree where one topic state ends and the next one begins. It also explains various manifestations of aspect-prominence and topic-prominence in (...)
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  12. 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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  13. Formal Properties of "Now" Revisited.Una Stojnic & Daniel Altshuler - forthcoming - Semantics and Pragmatics.
    The traditional view is that 'now’ is a pure indexical, denoting the utterance time. Yet, despite its initial appeal, the view has faced criticism. A range of data reveal 'now’ allows for discourse-bound (i.e., anaphoric) uses, and can occur felicitously with the past tense. The reaction to this has typically been to treat ‘now’ as akin to a true demonstrative, selecting the prominent time supplied by the non-linguistic context or prior discourse. We argue this is doubly mistaken. The first mistake (...)
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  14. Anaphora and negation.Karen S. Lewis - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (5):1403-1440.
    One of the central questions of discourse dynamics is when an anaphoric pronoun is licensed. This paper addresses this question as it pertains to the complex data involving anaphora and negation. It is commonly held that negation blocks anaphoric potential, for example, we cannot say “Bill doesn’t have a car. It is black”. However, there are many exceptions to this generalization. This paper examines a variety of types of discourses in which anaphora on indefinites under the scope of negation is (...)
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  15. Context and Coherence: The Logic and Grammar of Prominence.Una Stojnic - 2021 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Natural languages are riddled with context-sensitivity. One and the same string of words can express many different meanings on occasion of use, and yet we understand one another effortlessly, on the fly. How do we do so? What fixes the meaning of context-sensitive expressions, and how are we able to recover the meaning so effortlessly? -/- This book offers a novel response: we can do so because we draw on a broad array of subtle linguistic conventions that determine the interpretation (...)
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  16. Pointing things out: in defense of attention and coherence.Una Stojnić, Matthew Stone & Ernie Lepore - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (2):139-148.
    Nowak and Michaelson have done us the service of presenting direct and clear worries about our account of demonstratives. In response, we use the opportunity to engage briefly with their remarks as a useful way to clarify our view.
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  17. "That"-Clauses and Propositional Anaphors.Peter van Elswyk - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2861-2875.
    This paper argues that "that"-clauses do not reference propositions because they are not intersubstitutible with other expressions that do reference propositions. In particular, "that"-clauses are shown to not be intersubstitutible with propositional anaphors like "so." The substitution failures are further argued to support a semantics on which "that"-clauses are predicates.
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  18. Truth-Predicates Still Not Like Pronouns: A Reply to Salis.Arvid Båve - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (5):1421-1429.
    I here respond to Pietro Salis’s objections against my original critique of the Prosentential Theory of Truth. In addition, I clarify some points regarding the relationship between anaphoric relationships and “general semantic notions” like “equivalence”, “consequence”, and “sameness of content”, and make some further points about ’s ability gto explain pragmatic and expressive features of “true”.
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  19. Definiteness Projection.Matthew Mandelkern & Daniel Rothschild - 2019 - Natural Language Semantics:1-33.
    We argue that definite noun phrases give rise to uniqueness inferences characterized by a pattern we call definiteness projection. Definiteness projection says that the uniqueness inference of a definite projects out unless there is an indefinite antecedent in a position that filters presuppositions. We argue that definiteness projection poses a serious puzzle for e-type theories of (in)definites; on such theories, indefinites should filter existence presuppositions but not uniqueness presuppositions. We argue that definiteness projection also poses challenges for dynamic approaches, which (...)
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  20. Propositional Anaphors.Peter van Elswyk - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):1055-1075.
    Propositions are posited to perform a variety of explanatory roles. One important role is being what is designated by a dedicated linguistic expression like a "that"-clause. In this paper, the case that propositions are needed for such a role is bolstered by defending that there are other expressions dedicated to designating propositions. In particular, it is shown that natural language has anaphors for propositions. Complement "so" and the response markers "yes" and "no" are argued to be such expressions.
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  21. Counterfactual Donkeys Don't Get High.Michael Deigan - 2018 - Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 22 1:367--384.
    I present data that suggest the universal entailments of counterfactual donkey sentences aren’t as universal as some have claimed. I argue that this favors the strategy of attributing these entailments to a special property of the similarity ordering on worlds provided by some contexts, rather than to a semantically encoded sensitivity to assignment.
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  22. Reviving the Parameter Revolution in Semantics.Bryan Pickel, Brian Rabern & Josh Dever - 2018 - In Derek Ball & Brian Rabern (eds.), The Science of Meaning. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 138-171.
    Montague and Kaplan began a revolution in semantics, which promised to explain how a univocal expression could make distinct truth-conditional contributions in its various occurrences. The idea was to treat context as a parameter at which a sentence is semantically evaluated. But the revolution has stalled. One salient problem comes from recurring demonstratives: "He is tall and he is not tall". For the sentence to be true at a context, each occurrence of the demonstrative must make a different truth-conditional contribution. (...)
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  23. The Difference Between Indexicals and Demonstratives.Alexandru Radulescu - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):3173-3196.
    In this paper, I propose a new way to distinguish between indexicals, like “I” and “today”, and demonstratives, like “she” and “this”. The main test case is the second person singular pronoun “you”. The tradition would generally count it as a demonstrative, because the speaker’s intentions play a role in providing it with a semantic value. I present cross-linguistic data and explanations offered of the data in typology and semantics to show that “you” belongs on the indexical side, and argue (...)
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  24. 'Now' with Subordinate Clauses.Sam Carter & Daniel Altshuler - 2017 - In Proceedings of SALT 27. pp. 340-357.
    We investigate a novel use of the English temporal modifier ‘now’, in which it combines with a subordinate clause. We argue for a univocal treatment of the expression, on which the subordinating use is taken as basic and the non-subordinating uses are derived. We start by surveying central features of the latter uses which have been discussed in previous work, before introducing key observations regarding the subordinating use of ‘now’ and its relation to deictic and anaphoric uses. All of these (...)
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  25. A Unified Non Monstrous Semantics for Third Person Pronouns.Fabio Del Prete & Sandro Zucchi - 2017 - Semantics and Pragmatics 10.
    It is common practice in formal semantics to assume that the context specifies an assignment of values to variables and that the same variables that receive contextually salient values when they occur free may also be bound by quantifiers and λs. These assumptions are at work to provide a unified account of free and bound uses of third person pronouns, namely one by which the same lexical item is involved in both uses. One way to pursue this account is to (...)
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  26. Синкретизм складнопідрядних речень займенниково-співвідносного типу симетричної структури.Vasyl Ozhohan & Andriy Ozhohan - 2017 - Language: Classic – Modern – Postmodern 3:209-218.
    У статті проаналізовано синкретичні семантико-синтаксичні відношення у структурі складнопідрядних займенниково-співвідносних речень симетричного типу, з’ясовано причини, що впливають на формування цих синкретичних відношень.
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  27. Grammatical Role Parallelism Influences Ambiguous Pronoun Resolution in German.Sauermann Antje & Gagarina Natalia - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
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  28. Pointers.Peter Simons - 2017 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (3):381-390.
    _ Source: _Volume 94, Issue 3, pp 381 - 390 Reference can fail in a way that intentionality cannot. Though the stream of phenomenal experience typically does not fail to target objects outside, it may do. How does the mind go about targeting objects beyond itself? The speculative conjecture of this paper is that it does so by a type of process which can be called _pointing_, and that the acts or act-aspects of pointing can be called _pointers_. The notion (...)
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  29. Pronoun Interpretation in the Second Language: Effects of Computational Complexity.Roumyana Slabakova, Lydia White & Natália Brambatti Guzzo - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
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  30. Discourse and Logical Form: Pronouns, Attention and Coherence.Una Stojnić, Matthew Stone & Ernie Lepore - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (5):519-547.
    Traditionally, pronouns are treated as ambiguous between bound and demonstrative uses. Bound uses are non-referential and function as bound variables, and demonstrative uses are referential and take as a semantic value their referent, an object picked out jointly by linguistic meaning and a further cue—an accompanying demonstration, an appropriate and adequately transparent speaker’s intention, or both. In this paper, we challenge tradition and argue that both demonstrative and bound pronouns are dependent on, and co-vary with, antecedent expressions. Moreover, the semantic (...)
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  31. A Counterexample to Variabilism.Mihnea D. I. Capraru - 2016 - Analysis 76 (1):26-29.
    Recent literature contains influential arguments for variabilism, the view that we should understand proper names as analogues not of constants but of variables. In particular, proper names are said to sometimes take semantic values that are not referential but purely general. I present a counter-example to this view.
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  32. Processing the Chinese Reflexive “Ziji”: Effects of Featural Constraints on Anaphor Resolution.Xiao He & Elsi Kaiser - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
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  33. Anaphora.Jeffrey C. King & Karen S. Lewis - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  34. When “He” Can Also Be “She”: An ERP Study of Reflexive Pronoun Resolution in Written Mandarin Chinese.Jui-Ju Su, Nicola Molinaro, Margaret Gillon-Dowens, Pei-Shu Tsai, Denise H. Wu & Manuel Carreiras - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
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  35. Structural Constraints on Pronoun Binding and Coreference: Evidence From Eye Movements During Reading.Ian Cunnings, Clare Patterson & Claudia Felser - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  36. The Relationship Between Anaphor Features and Antecedent Retrieval: Comparing Mandarin Ziji and Ta-Ziji.Brian Dillon, Wing-Yee Chow & Ming Xiang - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  37. Introducing a Gender-Neutral Pronoun in a Natural Gender Language: The Influence of Time on Attitudes and Behavior.Marie Gustafsson Sendén, Emma A. Bäck & Anna Lindqvist - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  38. E-Type Interpretation Without E-Type Pronoun: How Peirce’s Graphs Capture the Uniqueness Implication of Donkey Pronouns in Discourse Anaphora.Chuansheng He - 2015 - Synthese 192 (4):1-20.
    In this essay, we propose that Peirce’s Existential Graphs can derive the desired uniqueness implication (or in a weaker claim, the definite description readings) of donkey pronouns in conjunctive discourse (A man walks in the park. He whistles), without postulating a separate category of E-type pronouns.
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  39. Processing Implicit Control: Evidence From Reading Times.Michael McCourt, Jeffrey J. Green, Ellen Lau & Alexander Williams - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
    Sentences such as “The ship was sunk to collect the insurance” exhibit an unusual form of anaphora, implicit control, where neither anaphor nor antecedent is audible. The non-finite reason clause has an understood subject, PRO, that is anaphoric; here it may be understood as naming the agent of the event of the host clause. Yet since the host is a short passive, this agent is realized by no audible dependent. The putative antecedent to PRO is therefore implicit, which it normally (...)
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  40. The Interpretation of the Logophoric Pronoun in Ewe.Hazel Pearson - 2015 - Natural Language Semantics 23 (2):77-118.
    This paper presents novel data regarding the logophoric pronoun in Ewe. We show that, contrary to what had been assumed in the absence of the necessary fieldwork, Ewe logophors are not obligatorily interpreted de se. We discuss the prima facie rather surprising nature of this discovery given the assumptions that de se construals arise via binding of the pronoun by an abstraction operator in the left periphery of the clausal complement of an attitude predicate, and that logophors are elements that (...)
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  41. A Fan Effect in Anaphor Processing: Effects of Multiple Distractors.Kevin S. Autry & William H. Levine - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
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  42. The Quantified Argument Calculus.Hanoch Ben-Yami - 2014 - Review of Symbolic Logic 7 (1):120-146.
    I develop a formal logic in which quantified arguments occur in argument positions of predicates. This logic also incorporates negative predication, anaphora and converse relation terms, namely, additional syntactic features of natural language. In these and additional respects, it represents the logic of natural language more adequately than does any version of Frege’s Predicate Calculus. I first introduce the system’s main ideas and familiarize it by means of translations of natural language sentences. I then develop a formal system built on (...)
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  43. Perspectival Discourse Referents for Indexicals.Maria Bittner - 2014 - In Hannah Greene (ed.), SULA 7: Proceedings of the Seventh Meeting on the Semantics of Under-represented Languages in the Americas (Cornell University, May 4–6, 2012). Createspace. pp. 1–22.
    This paper argues that indexical reference is a species of discourse reference, just like anaphora. Both varieties of discourse reference involve not only context dependence, but also context change. The act of speaking up focuses attention and thereby makes this very speech event available for discourse reference by indexicals. Mentioning something likewise focuses attention, making the mentioned entity available for subsequent discourse reference by anaphors. Empirical evidence is presented from grammatical centering in Kalaallisut and "shifty indexicals" in Slave attitude reports.
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  44. Temporality: Universals and Variation.Maria Bittner - 2014 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    This book surveys the ways in which languages of different types refer to past, present, and future events and how these referents are related to the knowledge and attitudes of discourse participants. The book is the culmination of fifteen years of research by the author. Four major language types are examined in-depth: tense-based English, tense-aspect-based Polish, aspect-based Chinese, and mood-based Kalaallisut. Each contributes to a series of logical representation languages, which together define a common logical language that is argued to (...)
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  45. Immediate Sensitivity to Structural Constraints in Pronoun Resolution.Wing-Yee Chow, Shevaun Lewis & Colin Phillips - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
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  46. Reflexive Anaphor Resolution in Spoken Language Comprehension: Structural Constraints and Beyond.Kaili Clackson & Vera Heyer - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
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  47. Conversely: Extrapropositional and Prosentential.John Corcoran & Sriram Nambiar - 2014 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 20 (3):404-5.
    This self-contained lecture examines uses and misuses of the adverb conversely with special attention to logic and logic-related fields. Sometimes adding conversely after a conjunction such as and signals redundantly that a converse of what preceded will follow. -/- (1) Tarski read Church and, conversely, Church read Tarski. -/- In such cases, conversely serves as an extrapropositional constituent of the sentence in which it occurs: deleting conversely doesn’t change the proposition expressed. Nevertheless it does introduce new implicatures: a speaker would (...)
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  48. Order Effects in Dynamic Semantics.Peter Beim Graben - 2014 - Topics in Cognitive Science 6 (1):67-73.
    In their target article, Wang and Busemeyer (2013) discuss question order effects in terms of incompatible projectors on a Hilbert space. In a similar vein, Blutner recently presented an orthoalgebraic query language essentially relying on dynamic update semantics. Here, I shall comment on some interesting analogies between the different variants of dynamic semantics and generalized quantum theory to illustrate other kinds of order effects in human cognition, such as belief revision, the resolution of anaphors, and default reasoning that result from (...)
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  49. Structured Contexts and Anaphoric Dependencies.Julie Hunter - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (1):35-58.
    Sensitivity to the extra-linguistic context, as exhibited by indexical and demonstrative expressions, and sensitivity to the linguistic context, as exhibited by, for example, anaphoric uses of third person pronouns, are regularly regarded as different and independent phenomena. The data on indexicals, demonstratives, and third person pronouns, however, call for a more unified notion of context and of context sensitivity. This paper aims to develop such a unified picture by generalizing the notion of anaphora to encompass extra-linguistic context dependency and generalizing (...)
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  50. Identity, Causality, and Pronoun Ambiguity.Eyal Sagi & Lance J. Rips - 2014 - Topics in Cognitive Science 6 (4):663-680.
    This article looks at the way people determine the antecedent of a pronoun in sentence pairs, such as: Albert invited Ron to dinner. He spent hours cleaning the house. The experiment reported here is motivated by the idea that such judgments depend on reasoning about identity . Because the identity of an individual over time depends on the causal-historical path connecting the stages of the individual, the correct antecedent will also depend on causal connections. The experiment varied how likely it (...)
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1 — 50 / 304