About this topic
Summary A linguistic phenomenon is labeled ‘semantic’ when it is appropriately characterized or explained by reference to the semantic properties of expressions – such as having a particular reference or truth conditions, or expressing a particular concept or proposition – and semantic relations between expressions – such as being co-referential or synonymous. Disputes in philosophy and linguistics frequently arise over whether a given phenomenon is genuinely semantic, or whether it is better explained in, say, syntactic or pragmatic terms. (This is true of many of the phenomena included here as subcategories, such as opacity, metaphor and various sorts of apparent context-dependence.) Such disputes partly reflect disagreements over the best way to explain the phenomenon in question; frequently, they also reflect foundational disagreements about what constitutes the subject matter of semantics.
Introductions The formal semantics textbooks Chierchia & McConnell-Ginet 2000 and Larson & Segal 1995 contain extensive introductory surveys of the phenomena that semantic theory typically aims to characterize or explain.
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  1. Presupposition, Attention, and Why Questions.Jonathan E. Adler - 2008 - In Jonathan Eric Adler & Lance J. Rips (eds.), Reasoning: Studies of Human Inference and its Foundations. Cambridge University Press. pp. 748--764.
  2. The Autonymia and Heteronymia of Philosophical Terms.I. Aimonetto - 1986 - Filosofia 37 (1):65-80.
  3. Grammatical Coding of Lexical Evidentiality in a Spanish-to-Basque Parallel Corpus.Asier Alcazar - 2010 - In Gabriele Diewald & Elena Smirnova (eds.), Linguistic Realization of Evidentiality in European Languages. De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 131--156.
  4. E. F. KITTAY "Metaphor: Its Cognitive Force and Linguistic Structure". [REVIEW]M. V. Aldridge - 1988 - History and Philosophy of Logic 9 (2):251.
  5. Complement Noun Phrases and Prepositional Phrases, Adjectives and Verbs.Keith Allan - 1973 - Foundations of Language 10 (3):377-397.
  6. Meaning Potentials and Context: Some Consequences for the Analysis of Variation in Meaning.Jens Allwood - 2003 - In H. Cuyckens, René Dirven & John R. Taylor (eds.), Cognitive Approaches to Lexical Semantics. Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 23--29.
  7. On the Representation of Meanings of General Terms.Richard C. Anderson & Barry McGaw - 1973 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 101 (2):301.
  8. Reference and Introduction.Toshifumi Araiso - 2009 - Kagaku Tetsugaku 42 (1):65-81.
  9. Events, Facts, Propositions, and Evolutive Anaphora.Nicholas Asher - 2000 - In Achille Varzi, James Higginbotham & Fabio Pianesi (eds.), Speaking of Events. Oxford University Press. pp. 123--150.
  10. How Extension Al is Extensional Perception?Nicholas M. Asher & Daniel Bonevac - 1985 - Linguistics and Philosophy 8 (2):203 - 228.
  11. Logical Problems of Answer Variation in Philosophy.O. O. Asuquo - 2007 - Sophia: An African Journal of Philosophy 9 (1).
  12. First, the Claim That Mohawk Does Not Have Quantificational NPs Requires Some Defense. In Fact, Mohawk Does Have Sentences That Are Near-Equiv-Alents of Sentences with Quantificational NPs in English.(1) Gives Examples in Which the Word Akweku Appears with Universal Force:(1) A. John Akweku Wa-Shako-Kv-'. [REVIEW]E. Bach, E. Jelinek, A. Kratzer & B. H. Partee - 1995 - In Emmon Bach, Eloise Jelinek, Angelika Kratzer & Barbara Partee (eds.), Quantification in Natural Languages. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 21.
  13. In Defense of Passive.Emmon W. Bach - 1979 - Linguistics and Philosophy 3 (3):297 - 341.
  14. Prior and Davidson on Indirect Speech.Thomas Baldwin - 1982 - Philosophical Studies 42 (2):255 - 282.
  15. Computatio Sive Logica.J. Bar - 1982 - Review of Metaphysics 35 (4):874-877.
  16. Remark on Jacobson 1999: Crossover as a Local Constraint. [REVIEW]Chris Barker - 2004 - Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (4):447 - 472.
  17. The Dynamics of Vagueness.Chris Barker - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (1):1-36.
  18. Parsing If-Sentences and the Conditions of Sentencehood.Stephen Barker - 1996 - Analysis 56 (4):210–218.
  19. The Grammar of Adverbials a Study in the Semantics and Syntax of Adverbial Constructions.Renate Bartsch - 1976
  20. Shifting Situations and Shaken Attitudes.Jon Barwise & John Perry - 1985 - Linguistics and Philosophy 8 (1):105--161.
  21. Direct Reference And Events.Paul Berckmans - 1995 - Dialogos 30:43-58.
  22. The Factivity Constraint.Sven Bernecker - 2008 - In The Metaphysics of Memory. Springer. pp. 137--154.
  23. Reference, Predication, and What is Said: A Study of Indirect Speech Reports with Special Application to Some Non-Denoting Terms.Rodney Jay Bertolet - 1977 - Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
  24. What is 'That?'.John Biro - 2011 - Analysis 71 (4):651 - 653.
    Davidson's paratactic account of indirect speech exploits the fact that ‘that’ can be either a demonstrative pronoun or a subordinating conjunction. Davidson thinks that the fact that it is plausible to think that it inherited the latter function from the former lends support to his account. However, in other languages the two functions are performed by unrelated words, which makes the account impossible to apply to them. I argue that this shows that, rather than revealing the underlying form of indirect (...)
  25. Rich Ontologies for Tense and Aspect.Patrick Blackburn, Claire Gardent & Maarten De Rijke - 1996 - In Jerry Seligman & Dag Westerståhl (eds.), Logic, Language and Computation. Csli Publications, Stanford.
  26. The Myth of Semantic Presupposition.Steven E. Boer & William G. Lycan - 1976 - Indiana University Linguistics Club.
  27. Words as Tools and the Problem of Abstract Words Meanings.Anna M. Borghi & Felice Cimatti - 2009 - In N. A. Taatgen & H. van Rijn (eds.), Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. pp. 31--2304.
  28. Metaphors and Monsters.Fred Botting - 2003 - Journal for Cultural Research 7 (4):339-365.
  29. The Semantics of the Modal Auxiliaries in Contemporary German.Lowell Bouma - 1976 - Foundations of Language 14 (3):399-411.
  30. Hybrid Quotations.P. De Brabander (ed.) - 2005 - Benjamins.
  31. Are Generalised Scalar Implicatures Generated by Default? An on-Line Investigation Into the Role of Context in Generating Pragmatic Inferences.Richard Breheny, Napoleon Katsos & John Williams - 2006 - Cognition 100 (3):434-463.
  32. The Linguistic Encoding of Placement and Removal Events in Jahai.Niclas Burenhult - 2012 - In Anetta Kopecka & Bhuvana Narasimhan (eds.), Events of "Putting" and "Taking": A Crosslinguistic Perspective. John Benjamins. pp. 100--21.
  33. Context and Communication.Herman Cappelen & Josh Dever - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Context and Communication offers an introduction to a central theme in the study of language: the various ways in which what we say depends on the context of speech and thought. The period since 1970 has produced a vast literature on this topic, both by philosophers and by linguists. This book explores key data, questions, concepts, and theories of context sensitivity. It is written to be accessible to someone with no prior knowledge of the material or, indeed, any prior knowledge (...)
  34. Beyond the Literal Meaning.William Charlton - 1985 - British Journal of Aesthetics 25 (3):220-231.
  35. Of Course, I Don't Say That!Jose E. Chaves - unknown
    Grice’s notion of what is said has been challenged in many directions and, since then, there are a lot of new proposals to understand it. One of these new proposals claims that what a speaker said is not part of the speaker meaning. In that sense, the content said by uttering a sentence is not intentioned by the speaker but a purely semantic and syntactic matter. Kent Bach argues for this proposal and is the main exponent of it. My aim (...)
  36. An Experimental Approach to Adverbial Modification.Emmanuel Chemla - 2009 - In Uli Sauerland & Kazuko Yatsushiro (eds.), Semantics and Pragmatics: From Experiment to Theory. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 249--263.
  37. Spector. Scalar Implicature as a Grammatical Phenomenon.Fox Chierchia - 2012 - In Klaus von Heusinger, Claudia Maienborn & Paul Portner (eds.), Semantics: An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning. De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 3--2297.
  38. Questions of Form and Interpretation.Noam Chomsky - 1975 - Peter de Ridder Press.
  39. Geese As Icons and the Implications for Formulating A Semiotics Between the Literal and the Figurative.Christine M. Chun - 1985 - Nexus 4 (1):1.
  40. Possessors and Definiteness Effects in Two Austronesian Languages.Sandra Chung - 2008 - In Lisa Matthewson (ed.), Quantification: A Cross-Linguistic Perspective. Emerald. pp. 179--224.
  41. Negative Verbs in Children's Speech.Eve V. Clark - 1981 - In W. Klein & W. Levelt (eds.), Crossing the Boundaries in Linguistics. Reidel. pp. 253--264.
  42. Lexical Misunderstandings and Prototype Theory.Rebecca Clift - 1998 - AI and Society 12 (3):109-133.
    This paper uses examples of conversational understandings, misunderstandings and non-understandings to explore the role of prototypes and schemata in conversational understanding. An investigation of the procedures by which we make sense of lexical items in utterances by fitting prototypes into schemata is followed by an examination of how schemata are instantiated across conversational sequences by means of topics. In interaction, conflicts over meaning illuminate the decisive role of social and cultural factors in understanding. Overall, understanding is seen to be critically (...)
  43. Radical Pragmatics.Peter Cole - 1981
  44. Disquotational Indirect Reports in Focus.Sarah-Jane Conrad - 2011 - In Elke Brendel (ed.), Understanding Quotation. De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 7--59.
  45. On Epitheths Qua Attributive Anaphors.Eros Corazza - 2004 - Journal of Linguistics 41:1-32.
  46. Toward a Semantics for English Spatial Expressions.Judith Sachs Merriam Crow - 1989 - Dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin
    It has long been recognized that natural language expressions for space and time share basic similarities. Despite these similarities, studies in natural language semantics have focused almost exclusively on the semantics of time. It is argued here that the fundamental similarities between the domains of space and time, and the rich body of work in the semantics of temporal expressions, jointly motivate an excursion into the semantics of space. Drawing on a logical tradition originating with Russell and Whitehead, which has (...)
  47. Modelling Context Within a Constraint-Based Account of Quantifier Usage.Chris Cummins & Napoleon Katsos - 2012 - In Rita Finkbeiner, Jörg Meibauer & Petra Schumacher (eds.), What is a Context?: Linguistic Approaches and Challenges. John Benjamins. pp. 196--229.
  48. Simple Sentences, Substitutions, and Mistaken Evaluations.David Braun & Jennifer Saul - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 111 (1):1 - 41.
    Many competent speakers initially judge that (i) is true and (ii) isfalse, though they know that (iii) is true. (i) Superman leaps more tallbuildings than Clark Kent. (ii) Superman leaps more tall buildings thanSuperman. (iii) Superman is identical with Clark Kent. Semanticexplanations of these intuitions say that (i) and (ii) really can differin truth-value. Pragmatic explanations deny this, and say that theintuitions are due to misleading implicatures. This paper argues thatboth explanations are incorrect. (i) and (ii) cannot differ intruth-value, yet (...)
  49. Adverbs of Action.Donald Davidson - 1985 - In Bruce Vermazen & Merrill B. Hintikka (eds.), Essays on Davidson: Actions and Events. Oxford University Press. pp. 230--241.
  50. Negation and Negative Concord in Romance.De Swart Henriëtte & A. Sag Ivan - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (4):373-417.
    This paper addresses the two interpretations that a combination ofnegative indefinites can get in concord languages like French:a concord reading, which amounts to a single negation, and a doublenegation reading. We develop an analysis within a polyadic framework,where a sequence of negative indefinites can be interpreted as aniteration of quantifiers or via resumption. The first option leadsto a scopal relation, interpreted as double negation. The secondoption leads to the construction of a polyadic negative quantifiercorresponding to the concord reading. Given that (...)
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