15 found
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  1. Think Generic! The Meaning and Use of Generic Sentences.Ariel Cohen - 1999 - Stanford: CSLI.
     
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  2.  29
    On the Generic Use of Indefinite Singulars.Ariel Cohen - 2001 - Journal of Semantics 18 (3):183-209.
    The distribution of indefinite singular generics is much more restricted than that of bare plural generics. The former, unlike the latter, seem to require that the property predicated of their subject be, in some sense, ‘definitional’. Moreover, the two constructions exhibit different scopal behaviour, and differ in their felicity in conjunctions, questions, and expressions describing the speaker's confidence. I propose that the reason is that the two expressions, in fact, have rather different meanings. Carlson (1995) makes a distinction between inductivist (...)
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  3.  99
    Generics, Frequency Adverbs, and Probability.Ariel Cohen - 1999 - Linguistics and Philosophy 22 (3):221-253.
    Generics and frequency statements are puzzling phenomena: they are lawlike, yet contingent. They may be true even in the absence of any supporting instances, and extending the size of their domain does not change their truth conditions. Generics and frequency statements are parametric on time, but not on possible worlds; they cannot be applied to temporary generalizations, and yet are contingent. These constructions require a regular distribution of events along the time axis. Truth judgments of generics vary considerably across speakers, (...)
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  4.  80
    Generics and Mental Representations.Ariel Cohen - 2004 - Linguistics and Philosophy 27 (5):529-556.
    It is widely agreed that generics tolerate exceptions. It turns out, however, that exceptions are tolerated only so long as they do not violate homogeneity: when the exceptions are not concentrated in a salient “chunk” of the domain of the generic. The criterion for salience of a chunk is cognitive: it is dependent on the way in which the domain is mentally represented. Findings of psychological experiments about the ways in which different domains are represented, and the actors affecting such (...)
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  5.  61
    Existential Generics.Ariel Cohen - 2004 - Linguistics and Philosophy 27 (2):137-168.
    While opinions on the semantic analysis of generics vary widely, most scholars agree that generics have a quasi-universal flavor. However, there are cases where generics receive what appears to be an existentialinterpretation. For example, B's response is true, even though only theplatypus and the echidna lay eggs: (1) A: Birds lay eggs. B: Mammals lay eggs too. In this paper I propose a uniform account of the semantics of generics,which accounts for their quasi-existential readings as well as for their more (...)
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  6.  24
    Relative Readings of Many, Often, and Generics.Ariel Cohen - 2001 - Natural Language Semantics 9 (1):41-67.
    In addition to the familiar cardinal and proportional readings of many and few, there is yet another interpretation, the relative proportional reading. This reading, unlike the ordinary absolute proportional reading, is not conservative. Under the relative reading, 'Many ψs are φs' is true just in case the proportion of φs among ψs is greater than the proportion of φs among members of contextually given alternatives to ψ. I provide a definition of proportional readings that reduces the differences between absolute and (...)
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  7.  32
    Superlative Quantifiers as Modifiers of Meta-Speech Acts.Ariel Cohen & Manfred Krifka - 2010 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 6 (1):11.
    The superlative quantifiers, at least and at most, are commonly assumed to have the same truth-conditions as the comparative quantifiers more than and fewer than. However, as Geurts & Nouwen have demonstrated, this is wrong, and several theories have been proposed to account for them. In this paper we propose that superlative quantifiers are illocutionary operators; specifically, they modify meta-speech acts.Meta speech-acts are operators that do not express a speech act, but a willingness to make or refrain from making a (...)
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  8.  43
    Topic, Focus, and the Interpretation of Bare Plurals.Ariel Cohen & Nomi Erteschik-Shir - 2002 - Natural Language Semantics 10 (2):125-165.
    In this paper we show that focus structure determines the interpretation of bare plurals in English: topic bare plurals are interpreted generically, focused bare plurals are interpreted existentially. When bare plurals are topics they must be specific, i.e. they refer to kinds. After type-shifting they introduce variables which can be bound by the generic quantifier, yielding characterizing generics. Existentially interpreted bare plurals are not variables, but denote properties that are incorporated into the predicate.The type of predicate determines the interpretation of (...)
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  9.  26
    Notions of Sameness by Default and Their Application to Anaphora, Vagueness, and Uncertain Reasoning.Ariel Cohen, Michael Kaminski & Johann A. Makowsky - 2008 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 17 (3):285-306.
    We motivate and formalize the idea of sameness by default: two objects are considered the same if they cannot be proved to be different. This idea turns out to be useful for a number of widely different applications, including natural language processing, reasoning with incomplete information, and even philosophical paradoxes. We consider two formalizations of this notion, both of which are based on Reiter’s Default Logic. The first formalization is a new relation of indistinguishability that is introduced by default. We (...)
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  10.  15
    Superlative Quantifiers and Meta-Speech Acts.Ariel Cohen & Manfred Krifka - 2014 - Linguistics and Philosophy 37 (1):41-90.
    Recent research has shown that the superlative quantifiers at least and at most do not have the same type of truth conditions as the comparative quantifiers more than and fewer than. We propose that superlative quantifiers are interpreted at the level of speech acts. We relate them to denegations of speech acts, as in I don’t promise to come, which we analyze as excluding the speech act of a promise to come. Calling such conversational acts that affect future permissible speech (...)
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  11.  31
    Indiscriminability as Indiscernibility by Default.Ariel Cohen - 2008 - Studia Logica 90 (3):369-383.
    Most solutions to the sorites reject its major premise, i.e. the quantified conditional . This rejection appears to imply a discrimination between two elements that are supposed to be indiscriminable. Thus, the puzzle of the sorites involves in a fundamental way the notion of indiscriminability. This paper analyzes this relation and formalizes it, in a way that makes the rejection of the major premise more palatable. The intuitive idea is that we consider two elements indiscriminable by default, i.e. unless we (...)
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  12.  14
    The Sky as a Topic in Science Education.Igal Galili, Ayelet Weizman & Ariel Cohen - 2004 - Science Education 88 (4):574-593.
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  13.  27
    The King of France Is, In Fact, Bald.Ariel Cohen - 2000 - Natural Language Semantics 8 (4):291-295.
    According to current theories, sentences with definite descriptions that fail to refer are either false or lack a truth value; but they cannot be true. However, I present examples where such sentences are, in fact, judged true. I propose that a definite description may be accommodated as a conditional, and that, in such cases, it is precisely the failure to refer that makes the sentence true.
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  14.  19
    Expected Frequency and Mean Size of the Paradox of New Members.Amnon Rapoport & Ariel Cohen - 1984 - Theory and Decision 17 (1):29-45.
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  15.  1
    Superlative Quantifiers as Modifiers of Meta-Speech Acts.Ariel Cohen & Manfred Krifka - 2010 - Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 6 (1).
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