Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (6):715 - 761 (2006)
The paper is about the interpretation of opaque verbs like “seek”, “owe”, and “resemble” which allow for unspecific readings of their (indefinite) objects. It is shown that the following two observations create a problem for semantic analysis: (a) The opaque position is upward monotone: “John seeks a unicorn” implies “John seeks an animal”, given that “unicorn” is more specific than “animal”. (b) Indefinite objects of opaque verbs allow for higher-order, or “underspecific”, readings: “Jones is looking for something Smith is looking for” can express that there is something unspecific that both Jones and Smith are looking for. Given (a) and (b), it would seem that the following inference is hard to escape, if the premisses are construed unspecifically and the conclusion is taken on its under- specific reading: Jones is looking for a sweater. Smith is looking for a pen. Smith is looking for something Jones is looking for.
|Keywords||Intensional verbs Opaque verbs|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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Citations of this work BETA
Proof-Theoretic Semantics for a Natural Language Fragment.Nissim Francez & Roy Dyckhoff - 2010 - Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (6):447-477.
Intensional Verbs and Their Intentional Objects.Friederike Moltmann - 2008 - Natural Language Semantics 16 (3):239-270.
A Constructive Type-Theoretical Formalism for the Interpretation of Subatomically Sensitive Natural Language Constructions.Bartosz Więckowski - 2012 - Studia Logica 100 (4):815-853.
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