The history of the use of ⟦.⟧-notation in natural language semantics

Semantics and Pragmatics 9 (12) (2016)
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Abstract

In contemporary natural languages semantics one will often see the use of special brackets to enclose a linguistic expression, e.g. ⟦carrot⟧. These brackets---so-called denotation brackets or semantic evaluation brackets---stand for a function that maps a linguistic expression to its "denotation" or semantic value (perhaps relative to a model or other parameters). Even though this notation has been used in one form or another since the early development of natural language semantics in the 1960s and 1970s, Montague himself didn't make use of this notation in his series of groundbreaking papers on semantics. That raises the question: When was the ⟦.⟧-notation introduced to semantics? This note answers that question.

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Brian Rabern
University of Edinburgh

Citations of this work

Pure Quotation in Linguistic Context.Brian Rabern - 2023 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 52 (2):393-413.
Index, context, and the content of knowledge.Brian Rabern - 2017 - In Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism. New York: Routledge. pp. 465-479.

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References found in this work

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Semantics in generative grammar.Irene Heim & Angelika Kratzer - 1998 - Malden, MA: Blackwell. Edited by Angelika Kratzer.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 36 (3):602-605.
General semantics.David K. Lewis - 1970 - Synthese 22 (1-2):18--67.
The mathematics of metamathematics.Helena Rasiowa - 1963 - Warszawa,: Państwowe Wydawn. Naukowe. Edited by Roman Sikorski.

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