Why speaker intentions aren't part of context


Authors
Kent Bach
San Francisco State University
Abstract
It is widely though not universally accepted what speakers refer to in using demonstratives or “discretionary” (as opposed to “automatic”) indexicals depends on their intentions. Even so, people tend not to appreciate the consequences of this claim for the view that demonstratives and most indexicals refer as a function of context: these expressions suffer from a “character deficiency.” No wonder I am asked from time to time why I resist the temptation to include speaker intentions as a parameter of context. So I thought it would be a good idea to compile some of the scattered statements of my main reasons for this evidently radical view.
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