What is Said?

Noûs 50 (4):759-793 (2016)

Andreas Stokke
Uppsala University
S. Keller Anders
Portland Community College
It is sometimes argued that certain sentences of natural language fail to express truth conditional contents. Standard examples include e.g. Tipper is ready and Steel is strong enough. In this paper, we provide a novel analysis of truth conditional meaning using the notion of a question under discussion. This account explains why these types of sentences are not, in fact, semantically underdetermined, provides a principled analysis of the process by which natural language sentences can come to have enriched meanings in context, and shows why various alternative views, e.g. so-called Radical Contextualism, Moderate Contextualism, and Semantic Minimalism, are partially right in their respective analyses of the problem, but also all ultimately wrong. Our analysis achieves this result using a standard truth conditional and compositional semantics and without making any assumptions about enriched logical forms, i.e. logical forms containing phonologically null expressions.
Keywords Semantics  What is said  Semantics of Questions  Radical Contextualism  Minimalism  Questions under Discussion
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1111/nous.12133
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

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. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.

View all 46 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Lying and Misleading in Discourse.Andreas Stokke - 2016 - Philosophical Review 125 (1):83-134.
What the Metasemantics of "Know" is Not.Peter van Elswyk - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-14.
Deceiving Without Answering.Peter van Elswyk - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-17.

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
239 ( #26,010 of 2,253,657 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
17 ( #48,973 of 2,253,657 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature