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  1. Evaluational Adjectives.Alex Silk - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:1-35.
    This paper demarcates a theoretically interesting class of "evaluational adjectives." This class includes predicates expressing various kinds of normative and epistemic evaluation, such as predicates of personal taste, aesthetic adjectives, moral adjectives, and epistemic adjectives, among others. Evaluational adjectives are distinguished, empirically, in exhibiting phenomena such as discourse-oriented use, felicitous embedding under the attitude verb `find', and sorites-susceptibility in the comparative form. A unified degree-based semantics is developed: What distinguishes evaluational adjectives, semantically, is that they denote context-dependent measure functions ("evaluational (...)
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  • Getting What You Want.Lyndal Grant & Milo Phillips-Brown - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-20.
    It is commonly accepted that if an agent wants p, then she has a desire that is satisfied in exactly the worlds where p is true. Call this the ‘Satisfaction-is-Truth Principle’. We argue that this principle is false: an agent may want p without having a desire that is satisfied when p obtains in any old way. For example, Millie wants to drink milk but does not have a desire that is satisfied when she drinks spoiled milk. Millie has a (...)
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  • We Talk to People, Not Contexts.Daniel W. Harris - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    According to a popular family of theories, assertions and other communicative acts should be understood as attempts to change the context of a conversation. Contexts, on this view, are publicly shared bodies of information that evolve over the course of a conversation and that play a range of semantic and pragmatic roles. I argue that this view is mistaken: performing a communicative act requires aiming to change the mind of one’s addressee, but not necessarily the context. Although changing the context (...)
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  • Local Satisfaction Guaranteed: A Presupposition Theory and its Problems. [REVIEW]Bart Geurts - 1996 - Linguistics and Philosophy 19 (3):259 - 294.
  • Foundational Issues in Presupposition.Mandy Simons - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (4):357–372.
    Unsurprisingly, the negation of sentence (1), shown in (3), does not share this entailment. Neither does the yes/no question formed from this sentence. Similarly, if we add a possibility modal to the sentence, or construct a conditional of which (1) is the antecedent, the resulting sentences do not share the entailment of the original, as we see from the examples below.
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  • Presupposition.David I. Beaver - 1997 - In Johan van Bentham & Alice ter Meulen (eds.), Handbook of Logic and Language. MIT Press.
    We discuss presupposition, the phenomenon whereby speakers mark linguistically the information that is presupposed or taken for granted, rather than being part of the main propositional content of a speech act. Expressions and constructions carrying presuppositions are called “presupposition triggers”, forming a large class including definites and factive verbs. The article first introduces the range of triggers, the basic properties of presuppositions such as projection and cancellability, and the diagnostic tests used to identify them. The reader is then introducedto major (...)
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  • Responding to Alternative and Polar Questions.María Biezma & Kyle Rawlins - 2012 - Linguistics and Philosophy 35 (5):361-406.
    This paper gives an account of the differences between polar and alternative questions, as well as an account of the division of labor between compositional semantics and pragmatics in interpreting these types of questions. Alternative questions involve a strong exhaustivity presupposition for the mentioned alternatives. We derive this compositionally from the meaning of the final falling tone and its interaction with the pragmatics of questioning in discourse. Alternative questions are exhaustive in two ways: they exhaust the space of epistemic possibilities, (...)
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  • On the Interpretation of Anaphoric Noun Phrases: Towards a Full Understanding of Partial Matches.E. Krahmer - 1998 - Journal of Semantics 15 (4):355-392.
    Starting from the assumption that NPs of all kinds can be anaphoric on antecedents in the linguistic context, we work towards a general theory of context-dependent NP meaning. Two complicating factors are that the relation between anaphors and antecedents is by no means unrestricted and that often there is a partial match between anaphor and antecedent. We argue that the presuppositions-as-anaphors approach of van der Sandt provides a natural starting point for our enterprise. Unfortunately, this theory has a number of (...)
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  • The Elusive Scope of Descriptions.Daniel Rothschild - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (6):910–927.
    (1) Every miner went to a meeting. It seems that (1) can mean either that there was one meeting that every miner went to, or that every miner went to at least one meeting with no guarantee that they all went to the same meeting. In the language of first-order logic we can represent these two readings as a matter of the universal and existential quantifiers having different scope with respect to each other.
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  • Triviality and Interrogative Embedding: Context Sensitivity, Factivity, and Neg-Raising.Clemens Mayr - 2019 - Natural Language Semantics 27 (3):227-278.
    Why do predicates like know embed both declarative and interrogative clauses, whereas closely related ones like believe only embed the former? The standard approach following Grimshaw to this issue has been to specify lexically for each predicate which type of complement clause it can combine with. This view is challenged by predicates such as be certain, which embed interrogative clauses only in certain contexts. To deal with this issue, this paper proposes a novel, unified semantics for declarative and interrogative embedding (...)
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  • Quantification and Epistemic Modality.Dilip Ninan - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (4):433-485.
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  • Lying and Misleading in Discourse.Andreas Stokke - 2016 - Philosophical Review 125 (1):83-134.
    This essay argues that the distinction between lying and misleading while not lying is sensitive to discourse structure. It shows that whether an utterance is a lie or is merely misleading sometimes depends on the topic of conversation, represented by so-called questions under discussion. It argues that to mislead is to disrupt the pursuit of the goal of inquiry—that is, to discover how things are. Lying is seen as a special case requiring assertion of disbelieved information, where assertion is characterized (...)
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  • Attributing Error Without Taking a Stand.Caleb Perl & Mark Schroeder - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (6):1453-1471.
    Moral error theory is the doctrine that our first-order moral commitments are pervaded by systematic error. It has been objected that this makes the error theory itself a position in first-order moral theory that should be judged by the standards of competing first-order moral theories :87–139, 1996) and Kramer. Kramer: “the objectivity of ethics is itself an ethical matter that rests primarily on ethical considerations. It is not something that can adequately be contested or confirmed through non-ethical reasoning” [2009, 1]). (...)
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  • Presuppositions, Attitudes, and Why They Matter.Caleb Perl - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-19.
    This paper introduces and defends a high-level generalization about the way that presupposition triggers interact with attitude verbs. This generalization tells us a great deal about what an adequa...
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  • Might Moral Epistemologists Be Asking The Wrong Questions?Caleb Perl - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Against the Russellian Open Future.Anders J. Schoubye & Brian Rabern - 2017 - Mind 126 (504): 1217–1237.
    Todd (2016) proposes an analysis of future-directed sentences, in particular sentences of the form 'will(φ)', that is based on the classic Russellian analysis of definite descriptions. Todd's analysis is supposed to vindicate the claim that the future is metaphysically open while retaining a simple Ockhamist semantics of future contingents and the principles of classical logic, i.e. bivalence and the law of excluded middle. Consequently, an open futurist can straightforwardly retain classical logic without appeal to supervaluations, determinacy operators, or any further (...)
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  • The Counterfactual Direct Argument.Simon Goldstein - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-40.
    Many have accepted that ordinary counterfactuals and might counterfactuals are duals. In this paper, I show that this thesis leads to paradoxical results when combined with a few different unorthodox yet increasingly popular theses, including the thesis that counterfactuals are strict conditionals. Given Duality and several other theses, we can quickly infer the validity of another paradoxical principle, ‘The Counterfactual Direct Argument’, which says that ‘A> ’ entails ‘A> ’. First, I provide a collapse theorem for the ‘counterfactual direct argument’. (...)
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  • Specifying Desires.Delia Graff Fara - 2013 - Noûs 47 (2):250-272.
    A report of a person's desire can be true even if its embedded clause underspecifies the content of the desire that makes the report true. It is true that Fiona wants to catch a fish even if she has no desire that is satisfied if she catches a poisoned minnow. Her desire is satisfied only if she catches an edible, meal-sized fish. The content of her desire is more specific than the propositional content of the embedded clause in our true (...)
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  • Logical and Epistemic Modality.Hasen Khudairi - manuscript
    This paper examines the interaction between the philosophy and psychology of concepts and the modal characterization of the deductive concept of logical validity. The concept of logical consequence on which I focus is model-theoretic, where the concept records the property of necessary truth-preservation from the premise of an argument to its conclusion, as well as the condition that, in the class of all possible worlds in which a premise is true, a consequent formula or succedent class of formulas is true, (...)
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  • Covaluation and Unexpected BT Effects.Yael Sharvit - 2011 - Journal of Semantics 28 (1):55-106.
    It is argued that binding theory (BT) must recognize two types of covaluation: the familiar type, which holds between two NPs when they have the same semantic value, and a new type, which holds between two NPs when one of them denotes an attitude holder and the other the ‘self’ of the attitude holder. This is shown to account for the acceptability of ‘de re’ reflexive pronouns and unacceptability of some ‘de re’ non-reflexive pronouns. Alternative theories, which attempt to preserve (...)
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  • Proceedings From SALT X.Brendan Jackson & Tanya Matthews (eds.) - 2000 - CLC Publications.
  • Dynamics of Epistemic Modality.Malte Willer - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (1):45-92.
    A dynamic semantics for epistemically modalized sentences is an attractive alternative to the orthodox view that our best theory of meaning ascribes to such sentences truth-conditions relative to what is known. This essay demonstrates that a dynamic theory about might and must offers elegant explanations of a range of puzzling observations about epistemic modals. The first part of the story offers a unifying treatment of disputes about epistemic modality and disputes about matters of fact while at the same time avoiding (...)
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  • The Pragmatics of Pronominal Clitics and Propositional Attitudes.Alessandro Capone - 2013 - Intercultural Pragmatics 10 (3):459-485.
    pronominal clitics, pragmatics and propositional attitudes.
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  • Context Probabilism.Seth Yalcin - forthcoming - In M. Aloni (ed.), 18th Amsterdam Colloquium. Springer.
    We investigate a basic probabilistic dynamic semantics for a fragment containing conditionals, probability operators, modals, and attitude verbs, with the aim of shedding light on the prospects for adding probabilistic structure to models of the conversational common ground.
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  • Triviality Results For Probabilistic Modals.Goldstein Simon - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (1):188-222.
    In recent years, a number of theorists have claimed that beliefs about probability are transparent. To believe probably p is simply to have a high credence that p. In this paper, I prove a variety of triviality results for theses like the above. I show that such claims are inconsistent with the thesis that probabilistic modal sentences have propositions or sets of worlds as their meaning. Then I consider the extent to which a dynamic semantics for probabilistic modals can capture (...)
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  • A Unified Non Monstrous Semantics for Third Person Pronouns.Fabio Del Prete & Sandro Zucchi - forthcoming - Semantics and Pragmatics.
    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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  • In Defense of a Presuppositional Account of Slurs.Bianca Cepollaro - 2015 - Language Sciences 52:36-45.
    Abstract In the last fifteen years philosophers and linguists have turned their attention to slurs: derogatory expressions that target certain groups on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality and so on. This interest is due to the fact that, on the one hand, slurs possess puzzling linguistic properties; on the other hand, the questions they pose are related to other crucial issues, such as the descriptivism/expressivism divide, the semantics/pragmatics divide and, generally speaking, the theory of meaning. Despite these (...)
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  • Dissatisfaction Theory.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Semantics and Linguistic Theory 26:391-416.
    I propose a new theory of semantic presupposition, which I call dissatisfaction theory. I first briefly review a cluster of problems − known collectively as the proviso problem − for most extant theories of presupposition, arguing that the main pragmatic response to them faces a serious challenge. I avoid these problems by adopting two changes in perspective on presupposition. First, I propose a theory of projection according to which presuppositions project unless they are locally entailed. Second, I reject the standard (...)
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  • Counterfactual Attitudes and the Relational Analysis.Kyle Blumberg - 2018 - Mind 127 (506):521-546.
    In this paper, I raise a problem for standard precisifications of the Relational Analysis of attitude reports. The problem I raise involves counterfactual attitude verbs. such as ‘wish’. In short, the trouble is this: there are true attitude reports ‘ S wishes that P ’ but there is no suitable referent for the term ‘that P ’. The problematic reports illustrate that the content of a subject’s wish is intimately related to the content of their beliefs. I capture this fact (...)
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  • Descriptions and Non-Doxastic Attitude Ascriptions.Wojciech Rostworowski - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1311-1331.
    This paper addresses a certain objection to the quantificational theory of definite descriptions. According to this objection, the quantificational account cannot provide correct interpretations of definite descriptions embedded in the non-doxastic attitude ascriptions and therefore ought to be rejected. In brief, the objection says that the quantificational theory is committed to the view that a sentence of the form “The F is G” is equivalent to the claim that there is a unique F and it is G, while the ascription (...)
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  • Cognitivism About Epistemic Modality.Hasen Khudairi - manuscript
    This paper aims to vindicate the thesis that cognitive computational properties are abstract objects implemented in physical systems. I avail of the equivalence relations countenanced in Homotopy Type Theory, in order to specify an abstraction principle for intensional, computational properties. The homotopic abstraction principle for intensional mental functions provides an epistemic conduit into our knowledge of cognitive algorithms as abstract objects. I examine, then, how intensional functions in Epistemic Modal Algebra are deployed as core models in the philosophy of mind, (...)
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  • Ignorance Implicatures and Non-Doxastic Attitude Verbs.Kyle H. Blumberg - forthcoming - Proceedings of the 21st Amsterdam Colloquium.
    This paper is about conjunctions and disjunctions in the scope of non-doxastic atti- tude verbs. These constructions generate a certain type of ignorance implicature. I argue that the best way to account for these implicatures is by appealing to a notion of contex- tual redundancy (Schlenker, 2008; Fox, 2008; Mayr and Romoli, 2016). This pragmatic approach to ignorance implicatures is contrasted with a semantic account of disjunctions under `wonder' that appeals to exhausti cation (Roelofsen and Uegaki, 2016). I argue that (...)
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  • Having False Reasons.Juan Comesaña & Matthew McGrath - 2014 - In Clayton Littlejohn & John Turri (eds.), Epistemic Norms. Oxford University Press. pp. 59-80.
  • Believing Epistemic Contradictions.Beddor Bob & Simon Goldstein - 2018 - Review of Symbolic Logic (1):87-114.
    What is it to believe something might be the case? We develop a puzzle that creates difficulties for standard answers to this question. We go on to propose our own solution, which integrates a Bayesian approach to belief with a dynamic semantics for epistemic modals. After showing how our account solves the puzzle, we explore a surprising consequence: virtually all of our beliefs about what might be the case provide counterexamples to the view that rational belief is closed under logical (...)
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  • Clauses as Semantic Predicates: Difficulties for Possible-Worlds Semantics.Friederike Moltmann - 2018 - Festschrift for Angelika Kratzer.
    The standard view of clauses embedded under attitude verbs or modal predicates is that they act as terms standing for propositions, a view that faces a range of philosophical and linguistic difficulties. Recently an alternative has been explored according to which embedded clauses act semantically as predicates of content-bearing objects. This paper argues that this approach faces serious problems when it is based on possible worlds-semantics. It outlines a development of the approach in terms of truthmaker theory instead.
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  • Independence Day?Matthew Mandelkern & Daniel Rothschild - 2019 - Journal of Semantics 36 (2):193-210.
    Two recent and influential papers, van Rooij 2007 and Lassiter 2012, propose solutions to the proviso problem that make central use of related notions of independence—qualitative in the first case, probabilistic in the second. We argue here that, if these solutions are to work, they must incorporate an implicit assumption about presupposition accommodation, namely that accommodation does not interfere with existing qualitative or probabilistic independencies. We show, however, that this assumption is implausible, as updating beliefs with conditional information does not (...)
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  • Separating Syntax and Combinatorics in Categorial Grammar.Reinhard Muskens - 2007 - Research on Language and Computation 5 (3):267-285.
    The ‘syntax’ and ‘combinatorics’ of my title are what Curry (1961) referred to as phenogrammatics and tectogrammatics respectively. Tectogrammatics is concerned with the abstract combinatorial structure of the grammar and directly informs semantics, while phenogrammatics deals with concrete operations on syntactic data structures such as trees or strings. In a series of previous papers (Muskens, 2001a; Muskens, 2001b; Muskens, 2003) I have argued for an architecture of the grammar in which finite sequences of lambda terms are the basic data structures, (...)
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  • A Note on the Architecture of Presupposition.Matthew Mandelkern - 2016 - Semantics and Pragmatics 9 (13).
    The Proviso Problem is the discrepancy between the predictions of nearly every major theory of semantic presupposition about what is semantically presupposed by conditionals, disjunctions, and conjunctions, versus observations about what speakers of certain sentences are felt to be presupposing. I argue that the Proviso Problem is a more serious problem than has been widely recognized. After briefly describing the problem and two standard responses to it, I give a number of examples which, I argue, show that those responses are (...)
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  • Forms of Luminosity.Hasen Khudairi - 2017
    This dissertation concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The dissertation demonstrates how phenomenal consciousness and gradational possible-worlds models in Bayesian perceptual psychology relate to epistemic modal space. The dissertation demonstrates, then, how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; deontic modality; logical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the (...)
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  • Embedded Attitudes.Kyle Blumberg & Ben Holguín - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.
    This paper presents a puzzle involving embedded attitude reports. We resolve the puzzle by arguing that attitude verbs take restricted readings: in some environments the denotation of attitude verbs can be restricted by a given proposition. For example, when these verbs are embedded in the consequent of a conditional, they can be restricted by the proposition expressed by the conditional’s antecedent. We formulate and motivate two conditions on the availability of verb restrictions: (i) a constraint that ties the content of (...)
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  • Two Ways to Want?Ethan Jerzak - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (2):65-98.
    I present unexplored and unaccounted for uses of 'wants'. I call them advisory uses, on which information inaccessible to the desirer herself helps determine what she wants. I show that extant theories by Stalnaker, Heim, and Levinson fail to predict these uses. They also fail to predict true indicative conditionals with 'wants' in the consequent. These problems are related: intuitively valid reasoning with modus ponens on the basis of the conditionals in question results in unembedded advisory uses. I consider two (...)
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  • Modality and Expressibility.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Review of Symbolic Logic:1-39.
    When embedding data are used to argue against semantic theory A and in favor of semantic theory B, it is important to ask whether A could, after all, make sense of those data. It is possible to ask that question on a case-by-case basis. But suppose we could show that A can make sense of all the embedding data which B can possibly make sense of. This would, in one fell swoop, undermine all arguments in favor of B over A (...)
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  • Epistemic Modality De Re.Seth Yalcin - 2015 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2:475-527.
    Focusing on cases which involve binding into epistemic modals with definite descriptions and quantifiers, I raise some new problems for standard approaches to all of these expressions. The difficulties are resolved in a semantic framework that is dynamic in character. I close with a new class of problems about de re readings within the scope of modals.
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  • Restrictions on Quantifier Domains.Kai von Fintel - 1994 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    This dissertation investigates the ways in which natural language restricts the domains of quantifiers. Adverbs of quantification are analyzed as quantifying over situations. The domain of quantifiers is pragmatically constrained: apparent processes of "semantic partition" are treated as pragmatic epiphenomena. The introductory Chapter 1 sketches some of the background of work on natural language quantification and begins the analysis of adverbial quantification over situations. Chapter 2 develops the central picture of "semantic partition" as a side-effect of pragmatic processes of anaphora (...)
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  • The Semantics and Pragmatics of Presupposition.N. Asher - 1998 - Journal of Semantics 15 (3):239-300.
    In this paper, we offer a novel analysis of presuppositions, paying particular attention to the interaction between the knowledge resources that are required to The analysis has two main features. First, we capture an analogy between presuppositions, anaphora and scope ambiguity (cf. van der Sandt 1992), by utilizing semantic under-specification (c£ Reyle 1993). Second, resolving this underspecification requires reasoning about how the presupposition is rhetorically connected to the discourse context. This has several consequences. First, since pragmatic information plays a role (...)
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  • What is Presupposition Accommodation, Again?Kai von Fintel - 2008 - Philosophical Perspectives 22 (1):137--170.
    In his paper “What is a Context of Utterance?”, Christopher Gauker argues that the phenomenon of informative presuppositions is incompatible with the “pragmatic” view of presuppositions as involving requirements on the common ground, the body of shared assumptions of the participants in a conversation. This is a surprising claim since most proponents of this view have in fact dealt with informative presuppositions by appealing to a process called presupposition accommodation. Gauker’s attack shows the need to clarify the nature of this (...)
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  • The Dynamics of Vagueness.Chris Barker - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (1):1-36.
  • Illocutionary Revelations: Yucatec Maya Bakáan and the Typology of Miratives.Scott AnderBois - 2018 - Journal of Semantics 35 (1):171-206.
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  • Comparative Quantifiers and Negation: Implications for Scope Economy.N. Fleisher - 2015 - Journal of Semantics 32 (1):139-171.
  • Hurford Conditionals.Matthew Mandelkern & Jacopo Romoli - 2018 - Journal of Semantics 35 (2):357-367.
    Compare the following conditionals: 'If John is not in Paris, he is in France' versus 'If John is in France, he is not in Paris.' The second sounds entirely natural, whereas the first sounds quite strange. This contrast is puzzling, because these two conditionals have the same structure at a certain level of logical abstraction, namely 'If ¬p+, then p.' -/- We argue that existing theories of informational oddness do not distinguish between these conditionals. We do not have an account (...)
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