Semantics with Assignment Variables

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (forthcoming)

Alex Silk
University of Birmingham
This book develops a syntactic and semantic framework for natural language. The principal focus is a spectrum of "shifting" phenomena in which the context relevant for interpreting certain expressions seems to depend on features of the linguistic environment. A key innovation is to introduce explicit representations of context in linguistic structure and meanings. Central applications include local and non-local contextual dependencies with quantifiers, attitude ascriptions, conditionals, questions, and relativization. The project integrates conceptual insights from contemporary philosophy of language, formal tools from theoretical syntax and semantics, and empirical data in linguistic typology to deepen our understanding of context-sensitivity and linguistic meaning. The proposed theory affords a standardization of quantification across domains and an improved framework for theorizing about the role of context in interpretation. The result will be a novel philosophically and empirically informed compositional semantics compatible with the truth-conditional paradigm.
Keywords semantics  quantifiers  modals  conditionals  attitude ascriptions  questions  contextualism  context-sensitivity  donkey anaphora  relative clauses  compositionality
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Reprint years 2021
ISBN(s) 9781108836012
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References found in this work BETA

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Harvard University Press.
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.

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Citations of this work BETA

Normativity in Language and Law.Alex Silk - forthcoming - In David Plunkett, Kevin Toh & Scott Shapiro (eds.), Dimensions of Normativity: New Essays on Metaethics and Jurisprudence. Oxford University Press.

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