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Peter Lasersohn [21]Peter Nathan Lasersohn [1]
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Peter Nathan Lasersohn
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  1. Context Dependence, Disagreement, and Predicates of Personal Taste.Peter Lasersohn - 2005 - Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (6):643--686.
    This paper argues that truth values of sentences containing predicates of “personal taste” such as fun or tasty must be relativized to individuals. This relativization is of truth value only, and does not involve a relativization of semantic content: If you say roller coasters are fun, and I say they are not, I am negating the same content which you assert, and directly contradicting you. Nonetheless, both our utterances can be true (relative to their separate contexts). A formal semantic theory (...)
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  2. Relative Truth, Speaker Commitment, and Control of Implicit Arguments.Peter Lasersohn - 2009 - Synthese 166 (2):359-374.
    Recent arguments for relativist semantic theories have centered on the phenomenon of “faultless disagreement.” This paper offers independent motivation for such theories, based on the interpretation of predicates of personal taste in certain attitude contexts and presuppositional constructions. It is argued that the correct interpretation falls out naturally from a relativist theory, but requires special stipulation in a theory which appeals instead to the use of hidden indexicals; and that a hidden indexical analysis presents problems for contemporary syntactic theory.
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  3. Mass Nouns and Plurals.Peter Lasersohn - 2011 - In Claudia Maienborn, Klaus von Heusinger & Paul Portner (eds.), Semantics: An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning. De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 2.
  4.  71
    Pragmatic Halos.Peter Lasersohn - 1999 - Language 75 (3):522-551.
    It is a truism that people speak ‘loosely’——that is, that they often say things that we can recognize not to be true, but which come close enough to the truth for practical purposes. Certain expressions. such as those including ‘exactly’, ‘all’ and ‘perfectly’, appear to serve as signals of the intended degree of approximation to the truth. This article presents a novel formalism for representing the notion of approximation to the truth, and analyzes the meanings of these expressions in terms (...)
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  5.  81
    Quantification and Perspective in Relativist Semantics.Peter Lasersohn - 2008 - Philosophical Perspectives 22 (1):305-337.
    Attempts to clarify some issues about the use of hidden arguments to predicates of personal taste, and motivate an analysis which does not make use of such arguments.
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  6.  38
    Non-World Indices and Assessment-Sensitivity.Peter Lasersohn - 2013 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (2-3):122-148.
    I argue that sentence contents should be assigned truth-values relative to parameters other than a possible world only if those parameters are fixed by the context of assessment rather than the context of use. Standard counterexamples, including tense, de se attitudes, and knowledge ascriptions, all admit of alternative analyses which do not make use of such parameters. Moreover, allowing such indices greatly complicates the task of defining disagreement, and forces an odd separation between what is true, and what someone has (...)
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  7. Context, Relevant Parts and (Lack of) Disagreement Over Taste. [REVIEW]Peter Lasersohn - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (3):433-439.
    Responds to an argument against relativist semantics advanced in Cappelen and Hawthorne’s Relativism and Monadic Truth.
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  8.  92
    Contextualism and Compositionality.Peter Lasersohn - 2012 - Linguistics and Philosophy 35 (2):171-189.
    I argue that compositionality (in the sense of homomorphic interpretation) is compatible with radical and pervasive contextual effects on interpretation. Apparent problems with this claim lose their force if we are careful in distinguishing the question of how a grammar assigns interpretations from the question of how people figure out which interpretations the grammar assigns. I demonstrate, using a simple example, that this latter task must sometimes be done not by computing a derivation defined directly by the grammar, but through (...)
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  9.  22
    A Semantics for Groups and Events.Peter Lasersohn - 1990 - Garland.
    This dissertation provides a model-theoretic semantics for English sentences atttributing a property or action to a group of objects, either collectively or distributively. It is shown that certain adverbial expressions select for collective predicates; therefore collective and distibutive predicates must be distinguishable. This finding is problematic for recent accounts of distributive predicates which analyze such predicates as taking group-level arguments, and hence as not distinguishable from collective predicates. ;A group-level treatment of distributives is possible, however, if predicate denotations are relativized (...)
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  10.  37
    Existence Presuppositions and Background Knowledge.Lasersohn Peter - 1993 - Journal of Semantics 10 (2):113-122.
    Argues that the intuition of a truth value gap in cases of presupposition failure depends on the discourse information state, and in particular whether sufficient information is in the common ground to preclude the truth of the sentence on independent grounds; formalizes this analysis in a semantics using data lattices.
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  11.  32
    On the Readings of Plural Noun Phrases.Peter Lasersohn - 1989 - Linguistic Inquiry 20 (1):130-134.
    Argues against a Gillon-style covers-based analysis of plural noun phrases.
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  12.  29
    Group Action and Spatio-Temporal Proximity.Peter Lasersohn - 1990 - Linguistics and Philosophy 13 (2):179 - 206.
    Presents a unified semantics for various readings of 'together', using event mereology.
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  13.  33
    Generalized Distributivity Operators.Peter Lasersohn - 1998 - Linguistics and Philosophy 21 (1):83-93.
    Presents a series of generalizations of distributivity operators across a type hierarchy, in order to account for collective-distributive ambiguities for non-subject arguments.
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  14.  65
    Expressives, Perspective and Presupposition.Peter Lasersohn - 2007 - Theoretical Linguistics 33 (2):223-230.
    I compare Potts’ use of a ‘‘judge’’ parameter in semantic interpretation with the use of a similar parameter in Lasersohn (2005). The latter technique portrays the content of expressives as constant across speakers, while Pott’s technique does not. The idea that the content of expressives is a kind of presupposition is also briefly defended, and a technical problem in the ‘‘dynamics’’ of Pott’s formalism is pointed out.
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  15.  36
    Same, Models and Representation.Peter Lasersohn - manuscript
    What is the relation between models, as used in model-theoretic semantics, and the “world” which models represent? More specifically, let us consider the question of whether a single individual, event, time or other element in a model might be used to represent more than one individual, event, time or other object in the real world.
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  16.  44
    Generalized Conjunction and Temporal Modification.Peter Lasersohn - 1992 - Linguistics and Philosophy 15 (4):381 - 410.
    Argues for an assimilation of sentential and predicate conjunction to collective conjunction, based on modification of predicates by adverbs such as 'alternately'.
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  17.  13
    Pauline Jacobson.Kent Bach, Shalom Lappin, Martin Stokhof, Daniel Buring, Peter Lasersohn, Thomas Ede, Paul Dekker Beth Levin Zimmermann, Julie Sedivy & Ben Russell - 2005 - Linguistics and Philosophy 28:781-782.
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  18.  11
    Bare Plurals and Donkey Anaphora.Peter Lasersohn - 1997 - Natural Language Semantics 5 (1):79-86.
    Generically interpreted bare plural noun phrases license donkey anaphora. This fact has unexpected consequences both for the analysis of generics and for the analysis of donkey anaphors. Specifically, if we assume a kindsbased analysis of bare plurals as in Carlson (1980), we will be forced to give up the idea that donkey anaphors are variables – presumably in favor of an E-type analysis. Conversely, if we assume that donkey anaphors are variables, we will be forced to give up Carlson’s treatment (...)
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  19.  10
    Pauline Jacobson.Kent Bach, Daniel Buring, Paul Dekker, Shalom Lappin, Peter Lasersohn, Beth Levin, Julie Sedivy, Martin Stokhof, Thomas Ede & Ian Lyons - 2004 - Linguistics and Philosophy 27:777-778.
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  20.  16
    Adnominal Conditionals.Peter Lasersohn - 1996 - In T. Galloway & J. Spence (eds.), Papers from Semantics and Linguistic Theory VI. CLC Publications.
    Argues that certain conditional clauses are irreducibly adnominal, so that 'if' cannot be treated purely as a sentential connective. A unified analysis of adnominal if-clauses and ordinary if-clauses is possible, however, if we assume a semantic theory in which sentences denote sets of events rather than truth values.
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  21.  1
    Plurality, Conjunction and Events.Peter Nathan Lasersohn - 1995 - Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  22.  4
    Subjectivity and Perspective in Truth-Theoretic Semantics.Peter Lasersohn - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    This book explores linguistic and philosophical issues presented by sentences expressing personal taste, such as Roller coasters are fun, or Licorice is tasty. Standard semantic theories explain the meanings of sentences by specifying the conditions under which they are true; here, Peter Lasersohn asks how we can account for sentences that are concerned with matters of opinion rather than matters of fact. He argues that a truth-theoretic semantic theory is appropriate even for sentences like these, but that for such sentences, (...)
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