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  1. Oddness, modularity, and exhaustification.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2021 - Natural Language Semantics 29 (1):115-158.
    According to the `grammatical account', scalar implicatures are triggered by a covert exhaustification operator present in logical form. This account covers considerable empirical ground, but there is a peculiar pattern that resists treatment given its usual implementation. The pattern centers on odd assertions like #"Most lions are mammals" and #"Some Italians come from a beautiful country", which seem to trigger implicatures in contexts where the enriched readings conflict with information in the common ground. Magri (2009, 2011) argues that, to account (...)
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  • Semantica e pragmatica linguistica. Tracce di normalità nelle implicature scalari.Salvatore Pistoia-Reda - 2014 - Carocci.
    In this book an introduction to the grammatical view of the scalar implicature phenomenon is presented. A detailed overview is offered concerning the embeddability of the exhaustivity operator, and the contextual dependance of the alternatives generation process. The theoretical implications of the grammatical view with respect to the abductive character of the scalar implicature are also discussed. A pragmatic account of the assertive content is proposed in correlation with a blindness-based account of the semantic content carried by scalar sentences, in (...)
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  • From contrastivism back to contextualism.Da Fan - 2023 - Synthese 201 (1):1-23.
    Contrastivism is the view that knowledge is a ternary relation between an agent, a content proposition, and a contrast, and it explains that a binary knowledge ascription sentence appears to be context-sensitive because different contexts can implicitly fill the contrast with different values. This view is purportedly supported by certain linguistic evidence. An objective of this paper is to argue that contrastivism is not empirically adequate, as there are examples that favor its contextualist cousin. Thereafter, I shall develop a contextualist (...)
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  • Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 15, Saarbruecken.Ingo Reich (ed.) - 2010 - Saarbrücken: Universitätsverlag des Saarlandes.
     
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  • Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 9.Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.) - 2005 - Nijmegen Centre for Semantics.
  • Readings of scalar particles: noch / still.Sigrid Beck - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (1):1-67.
    The paper develops a uniform compositional analysis of the various readings of the scalar particle still and its German counterpart noch. Noch/still is a presuppositional scalar particle that gives rise to implicatures. Interpretive possibilities arise through different choices for the scale that the particle associates with, different attachment sites in the syntax, and interaction with focus. These interpretive parameters allow for a wide range of possible sentence interpretations, which overlap, but do not coincide for still and noch. The contrastive perspective (...)
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  • The Boundaries of Meaning: A Case Study in Neural Machine Translation.Yuri Balashov - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 66.
    The success of deep learning in natural language processing raises intriguing questions about the nature of linguistic meaning and ways in which it can be processed by natural and artificial systems. One such question has to do with subword segmentation algorithms widely employed in language modeling, machine translation, and other tasks since 2016. These algorithms often cut words into semantically opaque pieces, such as ‘period’, ‘on’, ‘t’, and ‘ist’ in ‘period|on|t|ist’. The system then represents the resulting segments in a dense (...)
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  • Magari.Francesca Masini & Paola Pietrandrea - 2010 - Cognitive Linguistics 21 (1):75-121.
    We propose a constructionist approach to the polyfunctionality of the Italian focus particle magari (roughly corresponding to ‘maybe’, but also ‘I wish’). The sheer syntactic versatility of this word leads us to detect its formal regularities at the level of discourse configurations. This level of analysis, identified within the French linguistic tradition, is defined by the maintenance of a predicate-argument-adjunct structure in discourse. The salient feature of discourse configurations is their shape, which can be described by referring to a number (...)
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  • Prenuclear L∗+H Activates Alternatives for the Accented Word.Bettina Braun & María Biezma - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
    Previous processing studies have shown that constituents that are prosodically marked as focus lead to an activation of alternatives. We investigate the processing of constituents that are prosodically marked as contrastive topics. In German, contrastive topics are prosodically realized by prenuclear L*+H accents. Our study tests a) whether prenuclear accents (as opposed to nuclear accents) are able to activate contrastive alternatives, b) whether they do this in the same way as constituents prosodically marked as focus with nuclear accents do, which (...)
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  • Priming Effects of Focus in Mandarin Chinese.Mengzhu Yan & Sasha Calhoun - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
    Psycholinguistic research has long established that focus-marked words have a processing advantage over other words in an utterance, e.g. they are recognised more quickly and remembered better. More recently, studies have shown that listeners infer contextual alternatives to a focused word in a spoken utterance, when marked with a contrastive accent, even when the alternatives are not explicitly mentioned in the discourse. This has been shown by strengthened priming of contextual alternatives to the word, but not other noncontrastive semantic associates, (...)
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  • Stratégies de topicalisation en occitan.Richard Faure & Michèle Oliviéri - 2013 - Corpus 12:231-270.
    Alors que toutes les langues romanes connaissent les deux types de topicalisation à gauche : le topique suspendu (HT, dans les propositions principales) et la dislocation gauche (LD, dans les propositions principales et les subordonnées), quelques dialectes occitans (et peut-être quelques dialectes italiens) se distinguent en présentant aussi un topique suspendu enchâssé. Cet article met en évidence les difficultés soulevées par les analyses antérieures, notamment celle de Sauzet (1989) qui suppose qu’un rôle prédicatif spécifique légitime ce type de topique et (...)
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  • One Ought Too Many.Justin Snedegar Stephen Finlay - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):102-124.
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  • One Ought Too Many.Stephen Finlay & Justin Snedegar - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):102-124.
    Some philosophers hold that „ought‟ is ambiguous between a sense expressing a propositional operator and a sense expressing a relation between an agent and an action. We defend the opposing view that „ought‟ always expresses a propositional operator against Mark Schroeder‟s recent objections that it cannot adequately accommodate an ambiguity in „ought‟ sentences between evaluative and deliberative readings, predicting readings of sentences that are not actually available. We show how adopting an independently well-motivated contrastivist semantics for „ought‟, according to which (...)
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  • Negation and Free Choice Inference in Child Mandarin.Haiquan Huang, Peng Zhou & Stephen Crain - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    In sentences with internal negation, Free Choice Inferences (FCIs) are cancelled (Chierchia 2013). The present study investigated the possibility that FCIs are negated, not cancelled, by external negation. In previous research, both Mandarin-speaking children and adults were found to license FCIs in affirmative sentences with a modal verb and the disjunction word huozhe ‘or’ (Zhou, Romoli & Crain 2103). The present study contrasted internal versus external negation in sentences that contained all the ingredients needed to license FCIs. Four experiments were (...)
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  • Prosody leaks into the memories of words.Kevin Tang & Jason A. Shaw - 2021 - Cognition 210 (C):104601.
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  • Weak speech reports.Martín Abreu Zavaleta - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (8):2139-2166.
    Indirect speech reports can be true even if they attribute to the speaker the saying of something weaker than what she in fact expressed, yet not all weakenings of what the speaker expressed yield true reports. For example, if Anna utters ‘Bob and Carla passed the exam’, we can accurately report her as having said that Carla passed the exam, but we can not accurately report her as having said that either it rains or it does not, or that either (...)
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  • The scope of even.Karina Wilkinson - 1996 - Natural Language Semantics 4 (3):193-215.
    This paper is about even in downward entailing contexts. Karttunen and Peters (1979) have shown that there are two different sets of implicatures of even in such contexts. They argue that the two sets of implicatures are derived by allowing even to take scope either higher or lower than a negative polarity licenser. Rooth (1985) argues that even is lexically ambiguous, that is, there is a negative polarity even. I argue against Rooth's ambiguity theory and show that within Rooth's theory (...)
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  • Modeling generalized implicatures using non-monotonic logics.Jacques Wainer - 2007 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 16 (2):195-216.
    This paper reports on an approach to model generalized implicatures using nonmonotonic logics. The approach, called compositional, is based on the idea of compositional semantics, where the implicatures carried by a sentence are constructed from the implicatures carried by its constituents, but it also includes some aspects nonmonotonic logics in order to model the defeasibility of generalized implicatures.
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  • Association by movement: evidence from NPI-licensing. [REVIEW]Michael Wagner - 2006 - Natural Language Semantics 14 (4):297-324.
    ‘Only’ associates with focus and licenses NPIs. This paper looks at the distributional pattern of NPIs under ‘only’ and presents evidence for the movement theory of focus association and against an in situ approach. NPIs are licensed in the ‘scope’ (or the second argument) of ‘only’, but not in the complement (or its first argument), which I will call the ‘syntactic restrictor’. While earlier approaches argued that ‘only’ licenses NPIs in the unfocused part of the sentence it occurs in except (...)
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  • Mood and gradability: An investigation of the subjunctive mood in spanish.Elisabeth Villalta - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (4):467-522.
    In Spanish (and other Romance languages) certain predicates select the subjunctive mood in the embedded clause, while others select the indicative mood. In this paper, I present a new analysis for the predicates that select the subjunctive mood in Spanish that is based on a semantics of comparison. The main generalization proposed here is the following: in Spanish, a predicate selects the subjunctive mood in its embedded proposition if the proposition is compared to its contextual alternatives on a scale introduced (...)
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  • Processing Conversational Implicatures: Alternatives and Counterfactual Reasoning.Bob van Tiel & Walter Schaeken - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (S5):1119-1154.
    In a series of experiments, Bott and Noveck found that the computation of scalar inferences, a variety of conversational implicature, caused a delay in response times. In order to determine what aspect of the inferential process that underlies scalar inferences caused this delay, we extended their paradigm to three other kinds of inferences: free choice inferences, conditional perfection, and exhaustivity in “it”-clefts. In contrast to scalar inferences, the computation of these three kinds of inferences facilitated response times. Following a suggestion (...)
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  • Pitch accents create dissociable syntactic and semantic expectations during sentence processing.Constantijn L. van der Burght, Angela D. Friederici, Tomás Goucha & Gesa Hartwigsen - 2021 - Cognition 212 (C):104702.
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  • Inferring from Topics: Scalar Implicatures as Topic-Dependent Inferences.Jan Van Kuppevelt - 1996 - Linguistics and Philosophy 19 (4):393-443.
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  • The * hope-wh puzzle.Wataru Uegaki & Yasutada Sudo - 2019 - Natural Language Semantics 27 (4):323-356.
    Clause-embedding predicates come in three major varieties: responsive predicates are compatible with both declarative and interrogative complements; rogative predicates are only compatible with interrogative complements; and anti-rogative predicates are only compatible with declarative complements. It has been suggested that these selectional properties are at least partly semantic in nature. In particular, it has been proposed that the anti-rogativity of neg-raising predicates like believe comes from the triviality in meaning that would arise with interrogative complements. This paper puts forward a similar (...)
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  • Constraining the derivation of alternatives.Tue Trinh & Andreas Haida - 2015 - Natural Language Semantics 23 (4):249-270.
    Inferences that result from exhaustification of a sentence S depend on the set of alternatives to S. In this paper, we present some inference patterns that are problematic for previous theories of alternatives and propose some structural constraints on the derivation of formal alternatives which derive the observations.
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  • A sloppy identity puzzle.Satoshi Tomioka - 1999 - Natural Language Semantics 7 (2):217-241.
    Sloppy identity under ellipsis is generally attributed to the pronoun in ellipsis being a bound variable. However, sloppy identity can be licensed in structural configurations in which variable binding is ordinarily blocked. This paper provides a solution for this mismatch by reanalyzing the pronouns with the unexpected sloppy readings as E-type pronouns. Under the proposed analysis, the distribution of such pronouns is correctly predicted. It will also be shown that the analysis is successfully extended to sloppy identity in association-with-focus cases.
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  • What do quantifier particles do?Anna Szabolcsi - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (2):159-204.
    In many languages, the same particles that form quantifier words also serve as connectives, additive and scalar particles, question markers, roots of existential verbs, and so on. Do these have a unified semantics, or do they merely bear a family resemblance? Are they aided by silent operators in their varied roles―if yes, what operators? I dub the particles “quantifier particles” and refer to them generically with capitalized versions of the Japanese morphemes. I argue that both MO and KA can be (...)
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  • One's Modus Ponens: Modality, Coherence and Logic.Una Stojnić - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (1):167-214.
    Recently, there has been a shift away from traditional truth-conditional accounts of meaning towards non-truth-conditional ones, e.g., expressivism, relativism and certain forms of dynamic semantics. Fueling this trend is some puzzling behavior of modal discourse. One particularly surprising manifestation of such behavior is the alleged failure of some of the most entrenched classical rules of inference; viz., modus ponens and modus tollens. These revisionary, non-truth-conditional accounts tout these failures, and the alleged tension between the behavior of modal vocabulary and classical (...)
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  • Contrast and verb phrase ellipsis: The case of tautologous conditionals.Richard Stockwell - 2022 - Natural Language Semantics 30 (1):77-100.
    This paper argues that verb phrase ellipsis requires contrast. The central observation is that ellipsis is ungrammatical in tautologous conditionals; e.g., *_If John wins, then he does_. Ellipsis is correctly ruled out by a focus-based theory of ellipsis (Rooth 1992a, b ), but one that crucially imports focus’s requirement for contrast: an elliptical constituent must have an antecedent that is not merely an alternative to it, but a ‘proper’ alternative. An explanation in terms of contrast failure proves superior to alternative (...)
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  • Noise, Economy, and the Emergence of Information Structure in a Laboratory Language.Jon S. Stevens & Gareth Roberts - 2019 - Cognitive Science 43 (2):e12717.
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  • Focus games.Jon Scott Stevens - 2016 - Linguistics and Philosophy 39 (5):395-441.
    This paper provides a game-theoretic analysis of contrastive focus, extending insights from recent work on the role of noisy communication in prosodic accent placement to account for focus within sentences, sub-sentential phrases and words. The shared insight behind these models is that languages with prosodic focus marking assign prosodic prominence only within elements which constitute material critical for successful interpretation. We first take care to distinguish the information-structural notion of focus from an ontologically distinct notion of givenness marking, and then (...)
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  • Presupposed ignorance and exhaustification: how scalar implicatures and presuppositions interact.Benjamin Spector & Yasutada Sudo - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (5):473-517.
    We investigate the interactions between scalar implicatures and presuppositions in sentences containing both a scalar item and presupposition trigger. We first critically discuss Gajewski and Sharvit’s previous approach. We then closely examine two ways of integrating an exhaustivity-based theory of scalar implicatures with a trivalent approach to presuppositions. The empirical side of our discussion focuses on two novel observations: the interactions between prosody and monotonicity, and what we call presupposed ignorance. In order to account for these observations, our final proposal (...)
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  • Reason claims and contrastivism about reasons.Justin Snedegar - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (2):231-242.
    Contrastivism about reasons is the view that ‘reason’ expresses a relation with an argument place for a set of alternatives. This is in opposition to a more traditional theory on which reasons are reasons for things simpliciter. I argue that contrastivism provides a solution to a puzzle involving reason claims that explicitly employ ‘rather than’. Contrastivism solves the puzzle by allowing that some fact might be a reason for an action out of one set of alternatives without being a reason (...)
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  • Contrastivism About Reasons and Ought.Justin Snedegar - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (6):379-388.
    Contrastivism about some concept says that the concept is relativized to sets of alternatives. Relative to some alternatives, the concept may apply, but relative to others, it may not. This article explores contrastivism about the central normative concepts of reasons and ought. Contrastivism about reasons says that a consideration may be a reason for an action A rather than one alternative, B, but may not be a reason for A rather than some other alternative, C. Likewise, contrastivism about ought says (...)
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  • Deliberation, Reasons, and Alternatives.Justin Snedegar - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):682-702.
    A plausible constraint on normative reasons to act is that it must make sense to use them as premises in deliberation. I argue that a central sort of deliberation – what Bratman calls partial planning – is question-directed: it is over, and aims to resolve, deliberative questions. Whether it makes sense to use some consideration as a premise in deliberation in a case of partial planning can vary with the deliberative question at issue. I argue that the best explanation for (...)
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  • On the interpretation of disjunction: Asymmetric, incremental, and eager for inconsistency. [REVIEW]Raj Singh - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2):245-260.
    Hurford’s Constraint (Hurford, Foundations of Language, 11, 409–411, 1974) states that a disjunction is infelicitous if its disjuncts stand in an entailment relation: #John was born in Paris or in France. Gazdar (Pragmatics, Academic Press, NY, 1979) observed that scalar implicatures can obviate the constraint. For instance, sentences of the form (A or B) or (Both Aand B) are felicitous due to the exclusivity implicature of the first disjunct: A or B implicates ‘not (A and B)’. Chierchia, Fox, and Spector (...)
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  • Maximize Presupposition! and local contexts.Raj Singh - 2011 - Natural Language Semantics 19 (2):149-168.
    Maximize Presupposition! is an economy condition that adjudicates between contextually equivalent competing structures. Building on data discovered by O. Percus, I will argue that the constraint is checked in the local contexts of embedded constituents. I will argue that this architecture leads to a general solution to the problem of antipresupposition projection, and also allows I. Heim’s ‘Novelty/Familiarity Condition’ to be eliminated as a constraint on operations of context change.
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  • Children interpret disjunction as conjunction: Consequences for theories of implicature and child development.Raj Singh, Ken Wexler, Andrea Astle-Rahim, Deepthi Kamawar & Danny Fox - 2016 - Natural Language Semantics 24 (4):305-352.
    We present evidence that preschool children oftentimes understand disjunctive sentences as if they were conjunctive. The result holds for matrix disjunctions as well as disjunctions embedded under every. At the same time, there is evidence in the literature that children understand or as inclusive disjunction in downward-entailing contexts. We propose to explain this seemingly conflicting pattern of results by assuming that the child knows the inclusive disjunction semantics of or, and that the conjunctive inference is a scalar implicature. We make (...)
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  • Superlative expressions, context, and focus.Yael Sharvit & Penka Stateva - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (4):453-504.
  • Achieving incremental semantic interpretation through contextual representation.Julie C. Sedivy, Michael K. Tanenhaus, Craig G. Chambers & Gregory N. Carlson - 1999 - Cognition 71 (2):109-147.
  • The irrelevance of the subject: Against subject-sensitive invariantism.Jonathan Schaffer - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):87-107.
    Does what you know depend on what is at stake for you? That is, is the knowledge relation sensitive to the subject’s practical interests? Subject sensitive invariantists (Fantl and McGrath, 2002; Hawthorne, 2004, ch. 4; Stanley, forthcoming) say that the answer is yes. They claim to capture the contextualist data without the shifty semantics. I will argue that the answer is no. The knowledge relation is sensitive to what is in question for the attributor, rather than what is at stake (...)
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  • The Contrast-sensitivity of Knowledge Ascriptions.Jonathan Schaffer - 2008 - Social Epistemology 22 (3):235-245.
    Knowledge ascriptions are contrast-sensitive. One natural explanation for this is that the knowledge relation is contrastive ( s knows that p rather than q ). But can the binary view of knowledge ( s knows that p ) explain contrast-sensitivity? I review some of the linguistic data supporting contrast-sensitivity, and critique the three main binary explanations for contrast-sensitivity. I conclude that the contrast-sensitivity of knowledge ascriptions shows that knowledge is a contrastive relation.
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  • Scalar additive particles in negative contexts.Bernhard Schwarz - 2005 - Natural Language Semantics 13 (2):125-168.
  • Givenness, avoidf and other constraints on the placement of accent.Roger Schwarzschild - 1999 - Natural Language Semantics 7 (2):141-177.
    This paper strives to characterize the relation between accent placement and discourse in terms of independent constraints operating at the interface between syntax and interpretation. The Givenness Constraint requires un-F-marked constituents to be given. Key here is our definition of givenness, which synthesizes insights from the literature on the semantics of focus with older views on information structure. AvoidF requires speakers to economize on F-marking. A third constraint requires a subset of F-markers to dominate accents.The characteristic prominence patterns of "novelty (...)
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  • From contextualism to contrastivism.Jonathan Schaffer - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 119 (1-2):73-104.
    Contextualism treats ‘knows’ as an indexical that denotes different epistemic properties in different contexts. Contrastivism treats ‘knows’ as denoting a ternary relation with a slot for a contrast proposition. I will argue that contrastivism resolves the main philosophical problems of contextualism, by employing a better linguistic model. Contextualist insights are best understood by contrastivist theory.
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  • Descriptions, truth value intuitions, and questions.Anders J. Schoubye - 2009 - Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (6):583-617.
    Since the famous debate between Russell (Mind 14: 479–493, 1905, Mind 66: 385–389, 1957) and Strawson (Mind 59: 320–344, 1950; Introduction to logical theory, 1952; Theoria, 30: 96–118, 1964) linguistic intuitions about truth values have been considered notoriously unreliable as a guide to the semantics of definite descriptions. As a result, most existing semantic analyses of definites leave a large number of intuitions unexplained. In this paper, I explore the nature of the relationship between truth value intuitions and non-referring definites. (...)
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  • Contrastive causation in the law.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Legal Theory 16 (4):259-297.
    What conception of causation is at work in the law? I argue that the law implicitly relies on a contrastive conception. In a liability case where the defendant's breach of duty must be shown to have caused the plaintiff's damages, it is not enough to consider what would have happened if the cause had not occurredthe law requires us to look to a specific replacement for the effect, which in this case is the hypothetical outcome in which the plaintiff came (...)
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  • Contrastive causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (3):327-358.
    Causation is widely assumed to be a binary relation: c causes e. I will argue that causation is a quaternary, contrastive relation: c rather than C* causes e rather than E*, where C* and E* are nonempty sets of contrast events. Or at least, I will argue that treating causation as contrastive helps resolve some paradoxes.
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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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  • Focus interpretation in thetic statements: Alternative semantics and optimality theory pragmatics. [REVIEW]Kjell Johan Sæbø - 2006 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 16 (1):15-33.
    Broad focus (or informational integration or nonautonomy) is lexically and contextually constrained, but these constraints are not well understood. On a standard theory of focus interpretation, the presupposition of a broad focus is verified whenever those of two narrow foci are. I argue that to account for cases where two narrow foci are preferred, it is necessary to assume that broad focus competes with two narrow foci and implicates the opposite of what they presuppose. Central constraints on thetic statements are (...)
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