How many bare demonstratives are there in English?

Linguistics and Philosophy 37 (4):291-314 (2014)

Christopher Gauker
University of Salzburg
In order to capture our intuitions about the logical consistency of sentences and the logical validity of arguments, a semantics for a natural language has to allow for the fact that different occurrences of a single bare demonstrative, such as “this”, may refer to different objects. But it is not obvious how to formulate a semantic theory in order to achieve this result. This paper first criticizes several proposals: that we should formulate our semantics as a semantics for tokens, not expressions, Kaplan’s idea that syntax associates a demonstration with each occurrence of a demonstrative, Braun’s idea that a context may specify shifts in context across the evaluation of the expressions in a sentence; and Predelli’s idea that we should countenance different classes of contexts. Finally, a solution is proposed that allows that a natural language persists across the addition of basic lexical items but defines logical properties in terms of language stages. A surprising result is that we do not need to think of demonstratives as taking different referents in different situations
Keywords Bare demonstratives  Context-relativity  Logical validity  David Kaplan
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DOI 10.1007/s10988-014-9156-6
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References found in this work BETA

Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - Oxford University Press, Usa.
Zero Tolerance for Pragmatics.Christopher Gauker - 2008 - Synthese 165 (3):359–371.
Demonstrating and Necessity.Nathan Salmon - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (4):497-537.

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Citations of this work BETA

Type-Ambiguous Names.Anders J. Schoubye - 2017 - Mind 126 (503):715-767.
From Meaning to Content.Francois Recanati - 2018 - In Derek Ball & Brian Rabern (eds.), The Science of Meaning: Essays on the Metatheory of Natural Language Semantics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Reviving the Parameter Revolution in Semantics.Bryan Pickel, Brian Rabern & Josh Dever - 2018 - In Derek Ball & Brian Rabern (eds.), The Science of Meaning. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 138-171.
Against the Speaker-Intention Theory of Demonstratives.Christopher Gauker - 2019 - Linguistics and Philosophy 42 (2):109-129.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

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