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  1. Donkeys Under Discussion.Lucas Champollion, Dylan Bumford & Robert Henderson - forthcoming - Semantics and Pragmatics.
    Donkey sentences have existential and universal readings, but they are not often perceived as ambiguous. We extend the pragmatic theory of nonmaximality in plural definites by Križ (2016) to explain how context disambiguates donkey sentences. We propose that the denotations of such sentences produce truth-value gaps — in certain scenarios the sentences are neither true nor false — and demonstrate that Križ’s pragmatic theory fills these gaps to generate the standard judgments of the literature. Building on Muskens’s (1996) Compositional Discourse (...)
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  2. Semantics for Reasons, by Bryan Weaver and Kevin Scharp. [REVIEW]Daniel Fogal & Peter Van Elswyk - forthcoming - Ethics.
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  3. Super Pragmatics of (Linguistic-)Pictorial Discourse.Julian J. Schlöder & Daniel Altshuler - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy.
    Recent advances in the Super Linguistics of pictures have laid the Super Semantic foundation for modelling the phenomena of narrative sequencing and co-reference in pictorial and mixed linguistic-pictorial discourses. We take up the question of how one arrives at the pragmatic interpretations of such discourses. In particular, we offer an analysis of: (i) the discourse composition problem: how to represent the joint meaning of a multipicture discourse, (ii) observed differences in narrative sequencing in prima facie equivalent linguistic vs. pictorial discourses, (...)
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  4. Conversational Eliciture.Jonathan Cohen & Andrew Kehler - 2021 - Philosophers' Imprint 21 (12).
    The sentence "The boss fired the employee who is always late" invites the defeasible inference that the speaker is attempting to convey that the lateness caused the firing. We argue that such inferences cannot be understood in terms of familiar approaches to extrasemantic enrichment such as implicature, impliciture, explicature, or species of local enrichment already in the literature. Rather, we propose that they arise from more basic cognitive strategies, grounded in processes of coherence establishment, that thinkers use to make sense (...)
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  5. Counterfactuals and Modality.Gabriel Greenberg - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 1 (6):1-26.
    This essay calls attention to a set of linguistic interactions between counterfactual conditionals, on one hand, and possibility modals like could have and might have, on the other. These data present a challenge to the popular variably strict semantics for counterfactual conditionals. Instead, they support a version of the strict conditional semantics in which counterfactuals and possibility modals share a unified quantificational domain. I’ll argue that pragmatic explanations of this evidence are not available to the variable analysis. And putative counterexamples (...)
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  6. The “All Lives Matter” Response: QUD-Shifting as Epistemic Injustice.Jessica Keiser - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8465-8483.
    Drawing on recent work in formal pragmatic theory, this paper shows that the manipulation of discourse structure—in particular, by way of shifting the Question Under Discussion mid-discourse—can constitute an act of epistemic injustice. I argue that the “All Lives Matter” response to the “Black Lives Matter” slogan is one such case; this response shifts the Question Under Discussion governing the overarching discourse from Do Black lives matter? to Which lives matter? This manipulation of the discourse structure systematically obscures the intended (...)
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  7. Discourse and Method.Ethan Nowak & Eliot Michaelson - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (2):119-138.
    Stojnić et al. (2013, 2017) argue that the reference of demonstratives is fixed without any contribution from the extra-linguistic context. On their `prominence/coherence' theory, the reference of a demonstrative expression depends only on its context-independent linguistic meaning. Here, we argue that Stojnić et al.’s striking claims can be maintained in only the thinnest technical sense. Instead of eliminating appeals to the extra-linguistic context, we show how the prominence/coherence theory merely suppresses them. Then we ask why one might be tempted to (...)
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  8. Tipper is Ready but He is Not Strong Enough: Minimal Proposition, Question Under Discussion, and What is Said.Charlie Siu - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2577-2584.
    A standard objection to Cappelen and Lepore’s Semantic Minimalism is that minimal propositions are explanatorily idle. But Schoubye and Stokke recently proposed that minimal proposition and the question under discussion of a conversation jointly determine what is said in a systematic and explanatory way. This note argues that their account both overgenerates and undergenerates.
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  9. What the Metasemantics of "Know" is Not.Peter van Elswyk - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (1):69-82.
    Epistemic contextualism in the style of Lewis (1996) maintains that ascriptions of knowledge to a subject vary in truth with the alternatives that can be eliminated by the subject’s evidence in a context. Schaffer (2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2015), Schaffer and Knobe (2012), and Schaffer and Szabo ́ (2014) hold that the question under discussion or QUD always determines these alternatives in a context. This paper shows that the QUD does not perform such a role for "know" and uses this (...)
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  10. Deceiving without answering.Peter Van Elswyk - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1157-1173.
    Lying is standardly distinguished from misleading according to how a disbelieved proposition is conveyed. To lie, a speaker uses a sentence to say a proposition she does not believe. A speaker merely misleads by using a sentence to somehow convey but not say a disbelieved proposition. Front-and-center to the lying/misleading distinction is a conception of what-is-said by a sentence in a context. Stokke (2016, 2018) has recently argued that the standard account of lying/misleading is explanatorily inadequate unless paired with a (...)
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  11. Conversational Exculpature.Daniel Hoek - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (2):151-196.
    Conversational exculpature is a pragmatic process whereby information is subtracted from, rather than added to, what the speaker literally says. This pragmatic content subtraction explains why we can say “Rob is six feet tall” without implying that Rob is between 5'0.99" and 6'0.01" tall, and why we can say “Ellen has a hat like the one Sherlock Holmes always wears” without implying Holmes exists or has a hat. This article presents a simple formalism for understanding this pragmatic mechanism, specifying how, (...)
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  12. Conventions of Viewpoint Coherence in Film.Samuel Cumming, Gabriel Greenberg & Rory Kelly - 2017 - Philosophers' Imprint 17.
    This paper examines the interplay of semantics and pragmatics within the domain of film. Films are made up of individual shots strung together in sequences over time. Though each shot is disconnected from the next, combinations of shots still convey coherent stories that take place in continuous space and time. How is this possible? The semantic view of film holds that film coherence is achieved in part through a kind of film language, a set of conventions which govern the relationships (...)
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  13. One's Modus Ponens: Modality, Coherence and Logic.Una Stojnić - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (1):167-214.
    Recently, there has been a shift away from traditional truth-conditional accounts of meaning towards non-truth-conditional ones, e.g., expressivism, relativism and certain forms of dynamic semantics. Fueling this trend is some puzzling behavior of modal discourse. One particularly surprising manifestation of such behavior is the alleged failure of some of the most entrenched classical rules of inference; viz., modus ponens and modus tollens. These revisionary, non-truth-conditional accounts tout these failures, and the alleged tension between the behavior of modal vocabulary and classical (...)
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  14. Discourse and Logical Form: Pronouns, Attention and Coherence.Una Stojnić, Matthew Stone & Ernie Lepore - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (5):519-547.
    Traditionally, pronouns are treated as ambiguous between bound and demonstrative uses. Bound uses are non-referential and function as bound variables, and demonstrative uses are referential and take as a semantic value their referent, an object picked out jointly by linguistic meaning and a further cue—an accompanying demonstration, an appropriate and adequately transparent speaker’s intention, or both. In this paper, we challenge tradition and argue that both demonstrative and bound pronouns are dependent on, and co-vary with, antecedent expressions. Moreover, the semantic (...)
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  15. Events States and Times.Daniel Altshuler - 2016 - Berlink: de Gruyter.
    This monograph investigates the temporal interpretation of narrative discourse in two parts. The theme of the first part is narrative progression. It begins with a case study of the adverb ‘now’ and its interaction with the meaning of tense. The case study motivates an ontological distinction between events, states and times and proposes that ‘now’ seeks a prominent state that holds throughout the time described by the tense. Building on prior research, prominence is shown to be influenced by principles of (...)
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  16. What is Said?Andreas Stokke & Anders J. Schoubye - 2016 - Noûs 50 (4):759-793.
    It is sometimes argued that certain sentences of natural language fail to express truth conditional contents. Standard examples include e.g. Tipper is ready and Steel is strong enough. In this paper, we provide a novel analysis of truth conditional meaning using the notion of a question under discussion. This account explains why these types of sentences are not, in fact, semantically underdetermined, provides a principled analysis of the process by which natural language sentences can come to have enriched meanings in (...)
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  17. What 'If'?William B. Starr - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14.
    No existing conditional semantics captures the dual role of 'if' in embedded interrogatives — 'X wonders if p' — and conditionals. This paper presses the importance and extent of this challenge, linking it to cross-linguistic patterns and other phenomena involving conditionals. Among these other phenomena are conditionals with multiple 'if'-clauses in the antecedent — 'if p and if q, then r' — and relevance conditionals — 'if you are hungry, there is food in the cupboard'. Both phenomena are shown to (...)
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  18. Processing Narrative Coherence: Towards a Top-Down Model of Discourse.Erica Cosentino, Ines Adornetti & Francesco Ferretti - 2013 - Open Access Series in Informatics (OASICS) 32:61-75.
    Models of discourse and narration elaborated within the classical compositional framework have been characterized as bottom-up models, according to which discourse analysis proceeds incrementally, from phrase and sentence local meaning to discourse global meaning. In this paper we will argue against these models. Assuming as a case study the issue of discourse coherence, we suggest that the assessment of coherence is a top-down process, in which the construction of a situational interpretation at the global meaning level guides local meaning analysis. (...)
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  19. Deixis (Even Without Pointing).Una Stojnic, Matthew Stone & Ernie Lepore - 2013 - Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):502-525.
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  20. What Projects and Why.Mandy Simons, David Beaver, Judith Tonhauser & Craige Roberts - 2010 - Semantics and Linguistic Theory 20:309-327.
    The empirical phenomenon at the center of this paper is projection, which we define (uncontroversially) as follows: (1) Definition of projection An implication projects if and only if it survives as an utterance implication when the expression that triggers the implication occurs under the syntactic scope of an entailment-cancelling operator. Projection is observed, for example, with utterances containing aspectual verbs like stop, as shown in (2) and (3) with examples from English and Paraguayan Guaraní (Paraguay, Tupí-Guaraní).1 The Guaraní example in (...)
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