Axiomathes:1-21 (forthcoming)

Authors
Andrei Moldovan
Universidad de Salamanca
Abstract
Viebahn (2018) has recently argued that several tests for ambiguity, such as the conjunction-reduction test, are not reliable as tests for polysemy, but only as tests for homonymy. I look at the more fine-grained distinction between regular and irregular polysemy and I argue for a more nuanced conclusion: the tests under discussion provide systematic evidence for homonymy and irregular polysemy but need to be used with more care to test for regular polysemy. I put this conclusion at work in the context of the debate over the alleged referential-attributive ambiguity of the definite article. In reply to various criticisms, defenders of the ambiguity view argue that this is a case of polysemy. But opponents object that the dual use of the definite article fails tests for ambiguity. The debate seems to have come to stalemate, unless the relevance of the tests is determined for cases of alleged polysemy. I conclude that the balance of considerations incline towards rejecting the ambiguity thesis.
Keywords polysemy  regular polysemy  irregular polysemy  conjunction-reduction test  ambiguity  referential uses of definite descriptions  tests for ambiguity
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10516-019-09445-y
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 51,554
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Reference and Definite Descriptions.Keith S. Donnellan - 1966 - Philosophical Review 75 (3):281-304.
Syntactic Structures.J. F. Staal - 1966 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 31 (2):245-251.
Speaker’s Reference and Semantic Reference.Saul Kripke - 1977 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 2 (1):255-276.
Speaker's Reference and Semantic Reference.Saul A. Kripke - 1977 - In Peter A. French, Theodore E. Uehling Jr & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Studies in the Philosophy of Language. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 255-296.
Descriptions.D. E. Over - 1993 - Philosophical Quarterly 43 (172):392-394.

View all 34 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Ambiguity and Zeugma.Emanuel Viebahn - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
A Linguistic Grounding for a Polysemy Theory of ‘Knows’.Mark Satta - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (5):1163-1182.
Ambiguity and Explanation.Jonathan L. Shaheen - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (8):839-866.
Polysemy: A Problem of Definition.Cliff Goddard - 2000 - In Yael Ravin & Claudia Leacock (eds.), Polysemy: Theoretical and Computational Approaches. Oxford University Press. pp. 129--151.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-06-15

Total views
36 ( #265,827 of 2,331,151 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #82,197 of 2,331,151 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes