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  1. Compositionality and Complexity in Multiple Negation.Francis Corblin - 1995 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 3 (2-3):449-471.
    This paper considers negative triggers and the interpretation of simple sentences containing more than one occurrence of those items . In the most typical interpretations those sentences have more negative expressions than negations in their semantic representation. It is first shown that this compositionality problem remains in current approaches. A principled algorithm for deriving the representation of sentences with multiple negative quantifiers in a DRT framework is then introduced. The algorithm is under the control of an on-line check-in, keeping the (...)
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  • When “All the Five Circles” Are Four: New Exercises in Domain Restriction.Bart Geurts & Bob van Tiel - 2016 - Topoi 35 (1):109-122.
    The domain of a quantifier is determined by a variety of factors, which broadly speaking fall into two types. On the one hand, the context of utterance plays a role: if the focus of attention is on a particular collection of kangaroos, for example, then “Q kangaroos” is likely to range over the individuals in that set. On the other hand, the utterance itself will help to establish the quantificational domain, inter alia through presuppositions triggered within the sentence. In this (...)
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  • Donkey Anaphora: The View From Sign Language (ASL and LSF).Philippe Schlenker - 2011 - Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (4):341-395.
    There are two main approaches to the problem of donkey anaphora (e.g. If John owns a donkey , he beats it ). Proponents of dynamic approaches take the pronoun to be a logical variable, but they revise the semantics of quantifiers so as to allow them to bind variables that are not within their syntactic scope. Older dynamic approaches took this measure to apply solely to existential quantifiers; recent dynamic approaches have extended it to all quantifiers. By contrast, proponents of (...)
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  • Epistemology, Context, and Formalism.Franck Lihoreau & Manuel Rebuschi (eds.) - 2014 - Springer Verlag.
    Acknowledgements Five out of the 13 contributions to this volume originate from papers which were presented at the international workshop on “Epistemology, Context, Formalism” held at the MSH-Lorraine in Nancy, France, on November the ...
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  • The dynamics of negative concord.Jeremy Kuhn - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-46.
    Concord describes a natural language phenomenon in which a single logical meaning is expressed syntactically on multiple lexical items. The canonical example is negative concord, in which multiple negative expressions are used, but a single negation is interpreted. Formally similar phenomena have been observed for the redundant marking of distributivity and definiteness. Inspired by recent dynamic analyses of these latter two phenomena, we extend a similar dynamic analysis to negative concord. We propose that negative concord items introduce a discourse referent, (...)
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  • Interpreting plural predication: homogeneity and non-maximality.Manuel Križ & Benjamin Spector - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-48.
    Plural definite descriptions across many languages display two well-known properties. First, they can give rise to so-called non-maximal readings, in the sense that they ‘allow for exceptions’. Second, while they tend to have a quasi-universal quantificational force in affirmative sentences, they tend to be interpreted existentially in the scope of negation. Building on previous works, we offer a theory in which sentences containing plural definite expressions trigger a family of possible interpretations, and where general principles of language use account for (...)
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  • Model-theoretic semantics as model-based science.Brendan Balcerak Jackson - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    In the early days of natural language semantics, Donald Davidson issued a challenge to those, like Richard Montague, who would do semantics in a model-theoretic framework that gives a central role to a model-relative notion of truth. Davidson argued that no theory of this kind can claim to be an account of real truth conditions unless it first makes clear how the relativized notion relates to our ordinary non-relativized notion of truth. In the 1990s, Davidson’s challenge was developed by Etchemendy (...)
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  • 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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  • Presupposing Acquaintance: A Unified Semantics for de Dicto, de Re and de Se Belief Reports.Emar Maier - 2009 - Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (5):429--474.
    This paper deals with the semantics of de dicto , de re and de se belief reports. First, I flesh out in some detail the established, classical theories that assume syntactic distinctions between all three types of reports. I then propose a new, unified analysis, based on two ideas discarded by the classical theory. These are: (i) modeling the de re/de dicto distinction as a difference in scope, and (ii) analyzing de se as merely a special case of relational de (...)
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  • Present Perfects Compete.Gerhard Schaden - 2009 - Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (2):115-141.
    This paper proposes a new look at the so-called ‘present-perfect puzzle’. I suggest that it is in fact part of a bigger problem, which also involves simple past tenses. I argue that present perfects compete with simple past tenses, and that the distribution of these tenses shows signs of the impact of this competition. The outcome of the competition is argued to be heavily dependent on which of the two tense-forms is the default. A pragmatic theory is proposed which accounts (...)
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  • A New Theory of Quantifiers and Term Connectives.Ken Akiba - 2009 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 18 (3):403-431.
    This paper sets forth a new theory of quantifiers and term connectives, called shadow theory , which should help simplify various semantic theories of natural language by greatly reducing the need of Montagovian proper names, type-shifting, and λ-conversion. According to shadow theory, conjunctive, disjunctive, and negative noun phrases such as John and Mary , John or Mary , and not both John and Mary , as well as determiner phrases such as every man , some woman , and the boys (...)
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  • Complex Demonstratives and Their Singular Contents.David Braun - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (1):57-99.
    This paper presents a semantic and pragmatic theory of complex demonstratives. According to this theory, the semantic content of a complex demonstrative, in a context, is simply an object, and the semantic content of a sentence that contains a complex demonstrative, in a context, is a singular proposition. This theory is defended from various objections to direct reference theories of complex demonstratives, including King's objection from quantification into complex demonstratives.
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  • A Multi-Dimensional Treatment of Quantification in Extraordinary English.Paul Dekker - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (1):101-127.
    In this paper I revive two important formal approaches to the interpretation of natural language, that of Montague and that of Karttunen and Peters. Armed with insights from dynamic semantics (Heim, Krifka) the two turn out to stand up against age-old criticisms in an orthodox fashion. The plan is mainly methodological, as I only want to illustrate the technical feasibility of the revived proposals. Even so, there are illuminating and welcome empirical consequences on the subject of scope islands (as discussed (...)
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  • Ups and Downs in the Theory of Temporal Reference.Uwe Reyle, Antje Rossdeutscher & Hans Kamp - 2007 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (5):565-635.
    This paper proposes a method for computing the temporal aspects of the interpretations of a variety of Germa sentences. The method is strictly modular in the sense that it allows each meaning-bearing sentence constituent to make its own, separate, contribution to the semantic representation of any sentence containing it. The semantic representation of a sentence is reached in several stages. First, an ‘initial semantic representation’ is constructed, using a syntactic analysis of the sentence as input. This initial representation is then (...)
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  • Observing Events and Situations in Time.Tim Fernando - 2007 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (5):527-550.
    Events and situations are represented by strings of temporally ordered observations, on the basis of which the events and situations are recognized. Allen’s basic interval relations are derived from superposing strings that mark interval boundaries, and Kamp’s event structures are constructed as projective limits of strings. Observations are generalized to temporal propositions, leading to event-types that classify event-instances. Working with sets of strings built from temporal propositions, we obtain natural notions of bounded entailment from set inclusions. These inclusions are decidable (...)
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  • Temporal Prepositional Phrases with Quantifiers: Some Additions to Pratt and Francez (2001). [REVIEW]Arnim von Stechow - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (5-6):755-800.
  • Exhaustivity in Dynamic Semantics; Referential and Descriptive Pronouns.Robert Van Rooy - 2001 - Linguistics and Philosophy 24 (5):621-657.
    In this paper I argue that anaphoric pronouns should always be interpreted exhaustively. I propose that pronouns are either used referentially and refer to the speaker's referents of their antecedent indefinites, or descriptively and go proxy for the description recoverable from its antecedent clause. I show how this view can be implemented within a dynamic semantics, and how it can account for various examples that seemed to be problematic for the view that for all unbound pronouns there always should be (...)
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  • Factive Presuppositions, Accommodation and Information Structure.Jennifer Spenader - 2003 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 12 (3):351-368.
    There are three ways to refer to a fact from the complement of afactive verb: (1) Via abstract object anaphoric reference, or, witha full sentential complement that will be interpreted either (2) asa bound presupposition or (3) as triggering a presupposition of afact that will have to be accommodated. Spoken corpus examplesreveal that these three possibilities differ in relation to thetype of information they tend to contribute, and this has twoeffects. First, the information status of the fact and its role (...)
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  • Quantifier/Variable-Binding.B. H. Slater - 2000 - Linguistics and Philosophy 23 (3):309-321.
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  • Anaphoric Presuppositions and Zero Anaphora.Kjell Johan Saeboe - 1996 - Linguistics and Philosophy 19 (2):187 - 209.
    The purpose of this paper is to use an anaphoric notion of presupposition for solving the problem of zero argument anaphora. Since Shopen (1973) it has been known that many missing arguments have an anaphoric interpretation, but it has not been known how this interpretation arises. I argue that these arguments are involved in presuppositions. On an anaphoric account of presuppositions as in van der Sandt (1992) or Kamp and Roßdeutscher (1992), it can be shown that the zero arguments acquire (...)
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  • Temporal Prepositions and Temporal Generalized Quantifiers.Ian Pratt & Nissim Francez - 2001 - Linguistics and Philosophy 24 (2):187-222.
    In this paper, we show how the problem of accounting for the semanticsof temporal preposition phrases (tPPs) leads us to some surprisinginsights into the semantics of temporal expressions ingeneral. Specifically, we argue that a systematic treatment of EnglishtPPs is greatly facilitated if we endow our meaning assignments with context variables, a device which allows a tPP to restrict domainsof quantification arising elsewhere in a sentence. We observe that theuse of context variables implies that tPPs can modify expressions intwo ways, and (...)
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  • On Dependent Pronouns and Dynamic Semantics.Rick Nouwen - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 36 (2):123-154.
    Within natural language semantics, pronouns are often thought to correspond to variables whose values are contributed by contextual assignment functions. This paper concerns the application of this idea to cases where the antecedent of a pronoun is a plural quantifiers. The paper discusses the modelling of accessibility patterns of quantifier antecedents in a dynamic theory of interpretation. The goal is to reach a semantics of quantificational dependency which yields a fully semantic notion of pronominal accessibility. I argue that certain dependency (...)
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  • Galen Strawson, Mental Reality.Michael Morris - 1997 - Minds and Machines 7 (3):442-447.
  • Cognitive Status, Information Structure, and Pronominal Reference to Clausally Introduced Entities.Jeanette K. Gundel, Michael Hegarty & Kaja Borthen - 2003 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 12 (3):281-299.
    This paper investigates reference to clausally introduced entities and proposes an explanation for why these are more readily available to immediate subsequent reference with a demonstrative pronoun than with the personal pronoun,it. New evidence is provided supporting proposals that such entities are typically activated, but not brought into focus, upon their introduction into a discourse. The study also provides further insight into the role of information structure, lexical semantics, presuppositional contexts, and syntactic structure in bringing an entity into focus of (...)
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  • Quantifiers, Anaphora, and Intensionality.Mary Dalrymple, John Lamping, Fernando Pereira & Vijay Saraswat - 1997 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 6 (3):219-273.
    The relationship between Lexical-Functional Grammar (LFG) functional structures (f-structures) for sentences and their semanticinterpretations can be formalized in linear logic in a way thatcorrectly explains the observed interactions between quantifier scopeambiguity, bound anaphora and intensionality.Our linear-logic formalization of the compositional properties ofquantifying expressions in natural language obviates the need forspecial mechanisms, such as Cooper storage, in representing thescoping possibilities of quantifying expressions. Instead, thesemantic contribution of a quantifier is recorded as a linear-logicformula whose use in a proof will establish the (...)
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  • Davidson's Program and Interpreted Logical Forms.Lenny Clapp - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (3):261-297.
  • Holism, Conceptual-Role Semantics, and Syntactic Semantics.William J. Rapaport - 2002 - Minds and Machines 12 (1):3-59.
    This essay continues my investigation of `syntactic semantics': the theory that, pace Searle's Chinese-Room Argument, syntax does suffice for semantics (in particular, for the semantics needed for a computational cognitive theory of natural-language understanding). Here, I argue that syntactic semantics (which is internal and first-person) is what has been called a conceptual-role semantics: The meaning of any expression is the role that it plays in the complete system of expressions. Such a `narrow', conceptual-role semantics is the appropriate sort of semantics (...)
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  • Discourse Dynamics, Pragmatics, and Indefinites.Karen S. Lewis - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (2):313-342.
    Discourse dynamics, pragmatics, and indefinites Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-30 DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-9882-y Authors Karen S. Lewis, Department of Philosophy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
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  • Reference Time and the English Past Tenses.W. P. M. Meyer-Viol & H. S. Jones - 2011 - Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (3):223-256.
    We offer a formal account of the English past tenses. We see the perfect as having reference time at speech time and the preterite as having reference time at event time. We formalize four constraints on reference time, which we bundle together under the term ‘perspective’. Once these constraints are satisfied at the different reference times of the perfect and preterite, the contrasting functions of these tenses are explained. Thus we can account formally for the ‘definiteness effect’ and the ‘lifetime (...)
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  • Dynamics, Brandom-Style.Bernhard Nickel - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):333-354.
    Abstract This paper discusses the semantic theory presented in Robert Brandom’s Making It Explicit . I argue that it is best understood as a special version of dynamic semantics, so that these semantics by themselves offer an interesting theoretical alternative to more standard truth-conditional theories. This reorientation also has implications for more foundational issues. I argue that it gives us the resources for a renewed argument for the normativity of meaning. The paper ends by critically assessing the view in both (...)
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  • Realizing What Might Be.Malte Willer - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (3):365 - 375.
    Schulz has shown that the suppositional view of indicative conditionals leads to a corresponding view of epistemic modals. But his case backfires: the resulting theory of epistemic modals gets the facts wrong, and so we end up with a good argument against the suppositional view. I show how and why a dynamic view of indicative conditionals leads to a better theory of epistemic modals.
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  • The English Resultative Perfect and its Relationship to the Experiential Perfect and the Simple Past Tense.Anita Mittwoch - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (3):323-351.
    A sentence in the Resultative perfect licenses two inferences: (a) the occurrence of an event (b) the state caused by this event obtains at evaluation time. In this paper I show that this use of the perfect is subject to a large number of distributional restrictions that all serve to highlight the result inference at the expense of the event inference. Nevertheless, only the event inference determines the truth conditions of this use of the perfect, the result inference being a (...)
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  • The Logic and Mathematics of Occasion Sentences.Pieter A. M. Seuren, Venanizo Capretta & Herman Geuvers - 2001 - Linguistics and Philosophy 24 (5):531-595.
    The prime purpose of this paper is, first, to restore to discourse-bound occasion sentences their rightful central place in semantics and secondly, taking these as the basic propositional elements in the logical analysis of language, to contribute to the development of an adequate logic of occasion sentences and a mathematical foundation for such a logic, thus preparing the ground for more adequate semantic, logical and mathematical foundations of the study of natural language. Some of the insights elaborated in this paper (...)
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  • Uniqueness in Definite Noun Phrases.Craige Roberts - 2003 - Linguistics and Philosophy 26 (3):287-350.
  • A Partial Account of Presupposition Projection.David Beaver & Emiel Krahmer - 2001 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 10 (2):147-182.
    In this paper it is shown how a partial semantics for presuppositions can be given which is empirically more satisfactory than its predecessors, and how this semantics can be integrated with a technically sound, compositional grammar in the Montagovian fashion. Additionally, it is argued that the classical objection to partial accounts of presupposition projection, namely that they lack “flexibility,” is based on a misconception. Partial logics can give rise to flexible predictions without postulating any ad hoc ambiguities. Finally, it is (...)
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  • Quantificational Arguments in Temporal Adjunct Clauses.Ron Artstein - 2005 - Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (5):541 - 597.
    Quantificational arguments can take scope outside of temporal adjunct clauses, in an apparent violation of locality restrictions: the sentence few secretaries cried after each executive resigned allows the quantificational NP each executive to take scope above few secretaries. I show how this scope relation is the result of local operations: the adjunct clause is a temporal generalized quantifier which takes scope over the main clause (Pratt and Francez, Linguistic and Philosophy 24(2), 187–222. [2001]), and within the adjunct clause, the quantificational (...)
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  • Intentional Identity and Descriptions.William Lanier - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (2):289-302.
    What is the semantic contribution of anaphoric links in sentences like, ‘A physicist was late to the party. He brought some bongos’? A natural first thought is that the passage entails a wide-scope existential claim that there is something that both (i) was late to the party and (ii) brought some bongos. Intentional identity sentences are counter-examples to this natural thought applied to anaphora in general. Some have tried to rescue the thought and accommodate the counter-examples by positing mythical objects. (...)
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  • Indefinites and Intentional Identity.Samuel Cumming - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (2):371-395.
    This paper investigates the truth conditions of sentences containing indefinite noun phrases, focusing on occurrences in attitude reports, and, in particular, a puzzle case due to Walter Edelberg. It is argued that indefinites semantically contribute the (thought-)object they denote, in a manner analogous to attributive definite descriptions. While there is an existential reading of attitude reports containing indefinites, it is argued that the existential quantifier is contributed by the de re interpretation of the indefinite (as the de re reading adds (...)
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  • Computers Are Syntax All the Way Down: Reply to Bozşahin.William J. Rapaport - 2019 - Minds and Machines 29 (2):227-237.
    A response to a recent critique by Cem Bozşahin of the theory of syntactic semantics as it applies to Helen Keller, and some applications of the theory to the philosophy of computer science.
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  • Generics Oversimplified.Sarah-Jane Leslie - 2015 - Noûs 49 (1):28-54.
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  • Ghosts, Murderers, and the Semantics of Descriptions.Anders Johan Schoubye - 2013 - Noûs 47 (3):496-533.
    It is widely agreed that sentences containing a non-denoting description embedded in the scope of a propositional attitude verb have true de dicto interpretations, and Russell's (1905) analysis of definite descriptions is often praised for its simple analysis of such cases, cf. e.g. Neale (1990). However, several people, incl. Elbourne (2005, 2009), Heim (1991), and Kripke (2005), have contested this by arguing that Russell's analysis yields incorrect predictions in non-doxastic attitude contexts. Heim and Elbourne have subsequently argued that once certain (...)
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  • On the Progressive and the Perfective.Zoltan Gendler Szabo - 2004 - Noûs 38 (1):29–59.
  • Creatures of Darkness.Sam Cumming - 2013 - Analytic Philosophy 54 (4):379-400.
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  • In Defense of the Modal Account of the Progressive.Ivan Mayerhofer - 2014 - Mind and Language 29 (1):85-108.
    When we talk about creation, we use the progressive and verbs of creation as in ‘Mary is building a house’. The modal account of the progressive says that a sentence such as ‘Mary is building a house’ is true just in case Mary eventually builds a house in all worlds in which her house-building proceeds normally. Recently, the modal account has come under fire from those who claim that it over-generates modal entailments and those who think the progressive should be (...)
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  • Objects of Desire, Thought, and Reality: Problems of Anchoring Discourse Referents in Development.Josef Perner, Bibiane Rendl & Alan Garnham - 2007 - Mind and Language 22 (5):475–513.
    Our objectives in this article are to bring some theoretical order into developmental sequences and simultaneities in children’s ability to appreciate multiple labels for single objects, to reason with identity statements, to reason hypothetically, counterfactually, and with beliefs and desires, and to explain why an ‘implicit’ understanding of belief occurs before an ‘explicit’ understanding. The central idea behind our explanation is the emerging grasp of how objects of thought and desire relate to real objects and to each other. To capture (...)
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  • Bridging Uses of Demonstrative Pronouns in German.Patrick Grosz - 2018 - Linguistics and Philosophy 41 (4):367-421.
    The goal of this paper is to revisit the phenomenon of bridging anaphora Thinking: readings in cognitive science, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 411–420, 1977) from the perspective of the German demonstrative plural pronoun die ‘they’. I argue that antecedentless die ‘they’ can be analyzed as a novel definite that is licensed by a suitable, contextually given situation and denotes the salient person who stand in a contextually given relation to that situation. Subsequently, I propose a formal semantic implementation of (...)
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  • Linguistic $$\Leftrightarrow $$ ↔ Rational Agents’ Semantics.Alexander Dikovsky - 2017 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 26 (4):341-437.
    We define and prove a formal semantics divided into two complementary interacting components: the strictly linguistic semantics, we call linguistic agent, and the strictly logical and referential semantics, we call rational agent. This Linguistic \ Rational Agents’ Semantics applies to Deep Dependency trees or more generally, to discourses, i.e. sequences of DD-trees, and interprets them by functional structures we call Meaning Representation Structures, similar to the DRT, but interpreted very differently. LRA semantics incrementally interprets the discourses by minimal finite models, (...)
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  • Generalized Update Semantics.Simon Goldstein - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):795-835.
    This paper explores the relationship between dynamic and truth conditional semantics for epistemic modals. It provides a generalization of a standard dynamic update semantics for modals. This new semantics derives a Kripke semantics for modals and a standard dynamic semantics for modals as special cases. The semantics allows for new characterizations of a variety of principles in modal logic, including the inconsistency of ‘p and might not p’. Finally, the semantics provides a construction procedure for transforming any truth conditional semantics (...)
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  • Past Interpretation and Graded Tense in Medumba.Anne Mucha - 2017 - Natural Language Semantics 25 (1):1-52.
    This paper provides a formal semantic analysis of past interpretation in Medumba, a graded tense language. Based on original fieldwork, the study explores the empirical behavior and meaning contribution of graded past morphemes in Medumba and relates these to the account of the phenomenon proposed in Cable for Gĩkũyũ. Investigation reveals that the behavior of Medumba gradedness markers differs from that of their Gĩkũyũ counterparts in meaningful ways and, more broadly, discourages an analysis as presuppositional eventuality or reference time modifiers. (...)
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  • Two Types of Choice-Functional Indefinites: Evidence From Ga.Agata Renans - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):405-415.
    There is a longstanding discussion whether wide-scope indefinites denote choice functions that are existentially bound or remain free. Data from Ga, an under-researched language spoken in Ghana, show that there are wide-scope indefinites denoting existentially bound skolemized choice functions whose parameter is bound by a higher quantificational NP, free skolemized choice functions with the speaker or a higher quantificational NP as a parameter, and narrow scope quantificational indefinites. Thus the data show that both existentially bound and free skolemized choice functions (...)
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