Context and the Composition of Meaning

Key ingredients in discourse meaning are reference markers: objects in the formal representation that the discourse is about. It is well-known that reference markers are not like first order variables. Indeed, it is the received view that reference markers are like the variables in imperative programming languages. However, in a computational semantics of discourse that treats reference markers as ‘dynamically bound’ variables, every noun phrase will get linked to a dynamic variable, so it will give rise to a marker index. Where do these indices come from? How do we handle them when combining (or ‘merging’) pieces of discourse? We will argue that reference markers are better treated as indices into context, and we will present a theory of context and context extension based on this view. In context semantics, noun phrases do not come with fixed indices, so the merge problem does not arise. This solves a vexing issue with coordination that causes trouble for all current versions of compositional discourse representation theory.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,392
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Kent Bach (1985). Failed Reference and Feigned Reference. Grazer Philosophische Studien 25:359-374.
Paolo Santorio (2012). Reference and Monstrosity. Philosophical Review 121 (3):359-406.
Michael Glanzberg (2002). Context and Discourse. Mind and Language 17 (4):333–375.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

27 ( #177,607 of 1,924,703 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #254,650 of 1,924,703 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.