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  1. Anaphora without indices: Dynamics of centering.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    The standard way to represent anaphoric dependencies is to co-index the anaphor with its antecedent in the syntactic input to semantic rules, which then interpret such indices as variables. Dynamic theories (e.g. Kamp’s DRT, Heim’s File Change Semantics, Muskens’s Compositional DRT, etc) combine syntactic co-indexation with semantic left-to-right asymmetry. This captures the fact that the anaphor gets its referent from the antecedent and not vice versa. Formally, a text updates the input state of information to the output state. In particular, (...)
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  2. Nominal quantification as top-level anaphora.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    So far, we have focused on discourse reference to atomic individuals and specific times, events, and states. The basic point of the argument was that all types of discourse reference involve attention-guided anaphora (in the sense of Bittner 2012: Ch. 2). We now turn to discourses involving anaphora to and by quantificational expressions. Today, we focus on quantification over individuals but the analysis we develop will directly generalize to other semantic types. The basic idea is that quantification is one more (...)
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  3. Choosing Short: An Explanation of the Similarities and Dissimilarities in the Distribution Patterns of Binding and Covaluation.Mihnea Capraru - manuscript
    Covaluation is the generalization of coreference introduced by Tanya Reinhart. Covaluation distributes in patterns that are very similar yet not entirely identical to those of binding. On a widespread view, covaluation and binding distribute similarly because binding is defined in terms of covaluation. Yet on Reinhart's view, binding and covaluation are not related that way: binding pertains to syntax, covaluation does not. Naturally, the widespread view can easily explain the similarities between binding and covaluation, whereas Reinhart can easily explain the (...)
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  4. Against Semantic Relationism.Nathan Salmon - manuscript
    The theory that Kit Fine calls 'semantic relationism' replaces standard semantic compositionality with an alternative according to which statements of the form '... A … A ...’ and ‘... A … B ...’ (e.g., ‘Cicero admires Cicero’ and ‘Cicero admires Tully’) differ in semantic content—even where the two terms involved are exactly synonymous—simply in virtue of the recurrence that is present in the former statement and absent from the latter. A semantic-relationist alternative to standard compositionality was first explicitly proffered by (...)
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  5. Topic states in Mandarin discourse.Maria Bittner - forthcoming - In Michael Opper (ed.), Proceedings of the 25th North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics. Ohio State University.
    I propose that Mandarin 。-sentences (units marked by 。) are aspectual topic-comment sequences, where an initial update (terminating in a pause) introduces a topic state for comment by one or more clauses. Each comment anaphorically refers to the topic state via the aspect feature of the verbal predicate. This proposal explains why Mandarin 。-sentences have controversial boundaries, since speakers may disagree where one topic state ends and the next one begins. It also explains various manifestations of aspect-prominence and topic-prominence in (...)
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  6. Pronouns and Gender.Cameron Domenico Kirk-Giannini & Michael Glanzberg - forthcoming - In Luvell Anderson & Ernie LePore (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Applied Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter introduces readers to the empirical questions at issue in debates over gendered pronouns and assesses the plausibility of various possible answers to these questions. It has two parts. The first is a general introduction to the linguistics and psychology of grammatical gender. The second focuses on the meanings of gendered pronouns in English. It begins with a discussion of some methodological limitations of empirical approaches to the topic and the normative implications of those limitations. It then argues against (...)
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  7. Trivalence and Anaphora.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - In Paul Egré & Lorenzo Rossi (eds.), Handbook of Three-Valued Logics. Cambridge: MIT Press.
    I survey the role of trivalence in theories of anaphora.
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  8. Clause-internal coherence as presupposition resolution.Kelsey Sasaki & Daniel Altshuler - forthcoming - Proceedings of Amsterdam Colloquium 2022.
    Hobbs (2010) introduced ‘clause-internal coherence’ (CIC) to describe inferences in, e.g., ‘A jogger was hit by a car,’ where the jogging is understood to have led to the car-hitting. Cohen & Kehler (2021) argue that well-known pragmatic tools cannot account for CIC, motivating an enrichment account familiar from discourse coherence research. An outstanding question is how to compositionally derive CIC from coherence relations. This paper takes strides in answering this question. It first provides experimental support for the existence of CIC (...)
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  9. Witnesses.Matthew Mandelkern - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (5):1091-1117.
    The meaning of definite descriptions (like ‘the King of France’, ‘the girl’, etc.) has been a central topic in philosophy and linguistics for the past century. Indefinites (‘Something is on the floor’, ‘A child sat down’, etc.) have been relatively neglected in philosophy, under the Russellian assumption that they can be unproblematically treated as existential quantifiers. However, an important tradition, drawing from Stoic logic, has pointed to patterns which suggest that indefinites cannot be treated simply as existential quantifiers. The standard (...)
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  10. Pronouns as Demonstratives.Kyle Blumberg - 2021 - Philosophers' Imprint 21 (35).
    In this paper, I outline a novel approach to the semantics of natural language pronouns. On this account, which I call 'demonstrativism', pronouns are semantically equivalent to demonstratives. I begin by presenting some contrasts that provide support for demonstrativism. Then I try to explain these contrasts by developing a particular demonstrativist proposal. I build on the "hidden argument" theory of demonstratives. On this theory, demonstratives are semantically similar to definite descriptions, with one important difference: demonstratives take two arguments, rather than (...)
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  11. Semantic monsters.Brian Rabern - 2021 - In Heimir Geirsson & Stephen Biggs (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Reference. Routledge. pp. 515-532.
    This chapter provides a general overview of the issues surrounding so-called semantic monsters. In section 1, I outline the basics of Kaplan’s framework and spell out how and why the topic of “monsters” arises within that framework. In Section 2, I distinguish four notions of a monster that are discussed in the literature, and show why, although they can pull apart in different frameworks or with different assumptions, they all coincide within Kaplan’s framework. In Section 3, I discuss one notion (...)
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  12. 감각적 확실성과 지표적 표현의 문제 (Sense-Certainty and the Problem of Indexical Expressions).Kim Juyong - 2020 - 헤겔연구 (Hegel-Studien of Korean Hegel Society) 48:73-100.
    There are at least three interpretations that attempt to read from the Sense-Certainty Chapter a Hegelian theory of indexicals. First, the Impossibility of Singular Reference Reading understands Hegel as excluding in principle the possibility of any linguistic cognition of individuals. Second, the Theory of Reference Reading criticizes the first reading and interprets from Hegel the classical idea of direct reference theory. Third, Brandom’s Anaphoric Theory Reading suggests an alternative explanation while still defending the possibility of knowledge of individuals in Hegel. (...)
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  13. "That"-clauses and propositional anaphors.Peter van Elswyk - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2861-2875.
    This paper argues that "that"-clauses do not reference propositions because they are not intersubstitutible with other expressions that do reference propositions. In particular, "that"-clauses are shown to not be intersubstitutible with propositional anaphors like "so." The substitution failures are further argued to support a semantics on which "that"-clauses are predicates.
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  14. Truth-Predicates Still Not like Pronouns: a Reply to Salis.Arvid Båve - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (5):1421-1429.
    I here respond to Pietro Salis’s objections against my original critique of the Prosentential Theory of Truth. In addition, I clarify some points regarding the relationship between anaphoric relationships and “general semantic notions” like “equivalence”, “consequence”, and “sameness of content”, and make some further points about ’s ability gto explain pragmatic and expressive features of “true”.
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  15. Definiteness Projection.Matthew Mandelkern & Daniel Rothschild - 2019 - Natural Language Semantics:1-33.
    We argue that definite noun phrases give rise to uniqueness inferences characterized by a pattern we call definiteness projection. Definiteness projection says that the uniqueness inference of a definite projects out unless there is an indefinite antecedent in a position that filters presuppositions. We argue that definiteness projection poses a serious puzzle for e-type theories of (in)definites; on such theories, indefinites should filter existence presuppositions but not uniqueness presuppositions. We argue that definiteness projection also poses challenges for dynamic approaches, which (...)
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  16. Counterfactual donkeys don't get high.Michael Deigan - 2018 - Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 22 1:367--384.
    I present data that suggest the universal entailments of counterfactual donkey sentences aren’t as universal as some have claimed. I argue that this favors the strategy of attributing these entailments to a special property of the similarity ordering on worlds provided by some contexts, rather than to a semantically encoded sensitivity to assignment.
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  17. Reviving the parameter revolution in semantics.Bryan Pickel, Brian Rabern & Josh Dever - 2018 - In Derek Ball & Brian Rabern (eds.), The Science of Meaning. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 138-171.
    Montague and Kaplan began a revolution in semantics, which promised to explain how a univocal expression could make distinct truth-conditional contributions in its various occurrences. The idea was to treat context as a parameter at which a sentence is semantically evaluated. But the revolution has stalled. One salient problem comes from recurring demonstratives: "He is tall and he is not tall". For the sentence to be true at a context, each occurrence of the demonstrative must make a different truth-conditional contribution. (...)
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  18. 'Now' with Subordinate Clauses.Sam Carter & Daniel Altshuler - 2017 - In Proceedings of SALT 27. pp. 340-357.
    We investigate a novel use of the English temporal modifier ‘now’, in which it combines with a subordinate clause. We argue for a univocal treatment of the expression, on which the subordinating use is taken as basic and the non-subordinating uses are derived. We start by surveying central features of the latter uses which have been discussed in previous work, before introducing key observations regarding the subordinating use of ‘now’ and its relation to deictic and anaphoric uses. All of these (...)
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  19. A unified non monstrous semantics for third person pronouns.Fabio Del Prete & Sandro Zucchi - 2017 - Semantics and Pragmatics 10.
    It is common practice in formal semantics to assume that the context specifies an assignment of values to variables and that the same variables that receive contextually salient values when they occur free may also be bound by quantifiers and λs. These assumptions are at work to provide a unified account of free and bound uses of third person pronouns, namely one by which the same lexical item is involved in both uses. One way to pursue this account is to (...)
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  20. Синкретизм складнопідрядних речень займенниково-співвідносного типу симетричної структури.Vasyl Ozhohan & Andriy Ozhohan - 2017 - Language: Classic – Modern – Postmodern 3:209-218.
    У статті проаналізовано синкретичні семантико-синтаксичні відношення у структурі складнопідрядних займенниково-співвідносних речень симетричного типу, з’ясовано причини, що впливають на формування цих синкретичних відношень.
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  21. 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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  22. A Counterexample to Variabilism.Mihnea D. I. Capraru - 2016 - Analysis 76 (1):26-29.
    Recent literature contains influential arguments for variabilism, the view that we should understand proper names as analogues not of constants but of variables. In particular, proper names are said to sometimes take semantic values that are not referential but purely general. I present a counter-example to this view.
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  23. Temporality: Universals and Variation.Maria Bittner - 2014 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    This book surveys the ways in which languages of different types refer to past, present, and future events and how these referents are related to the knowledge and attitudes of discourse participants. The book is the culmination of fifteen years of research by the author. Four major language types are examined in-depth: tense-based English, tense-aspect-based Polish, aspect-based Chinese, and mood-based Kalaallisut. Each contributes to a series of logical representation languages, which together define a common logical language that is argued to (...)
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  24. Perspectival discourse referents for indexicals.Maria Bittner - 2014 - In Hannah Greene (ed.), SULA 7: Proceedings of the Seventh Meeting on the Semantics of Under-represented Languages in the Americas (Cornell University, May 4–6, 2012). Createspace. pp. 1–22.
    This paper argues that indexical reference is a species of discourse reference, just like anaphora. Both varieties of discourse reference involve not only context dependence, but also context change. The act of speaking up focuses attention and thereby makes this very speech event available for discourse reference by indexicals. Mentioning something likewise focuses attention, making the mentioned entity available for subsequent discourse reference by anaphors. Empirical evidence is presented from grammatical centering in Kalaallisut and "shifty indexicals" in Slave attitude reports.
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  25. Conversely: extrapropositional and prosentential.John Corcoran & Sriram Nambiar - 2014 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 20 (3):404-5.
    This self-contained lecture examines uses and misuses of the adverb conversely with special attention to logic and logic-related fields. Sometimes adding conversely after a conjunction such as and signals redundantly that a converse of what preceded will follow. -/- (1) Tarski read Church and, conversely, Church read Tarski. -/- In such cases, conversely serves as an extrapropositional constituent of the sentence in which it occurs: deleting conversely doesn’t change the proposition expressed. Nevertheless it does introduce new implicatures: a speaker would (...)
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  26. Meaning shift and the purity of 'I'.Edison Barrios - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (1):263-288.
    In this paper I defend the “Standard View” of the semantics of ‘I’—according to which ‘I’ is a pure, automatic indexical—from a challenge posed by “deferred reference” cases, in which occurrences of ‘I’ are (allegedly) not speaker-referential, and thus non-automatic. In reply, I offer an alternative account of the cases in question, which I call the “Description Analysis” (DA). According to DA, seemingly deferred-referential occurrences of the first person pronoun are interpreted as constituents of a definite description, whose operator scopes (...)
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  27. Deixis (even without pointing).Una Stojnic, Matthew Stone & Ernie Lepore - 2013 - Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):502-525.
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  28. Propositions and compositionality.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2013 - Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):526-563.
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  29. An Antinomy about Anaphora.Mahrad Almotahari - 2011 - Linguistic Inquiry 42 (3):509-517.
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  30. A squib on anaphora and coindexing.Reinhard Muskens - 2011 - Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (1):85-89.
    There are two kinds of semantic theories of anaphora. Some, such as Heim’s File Change Semantics, Groenendijk and Stokhof’s Dynamic Predicate Logic, or Muskens’ Compositional DRT (CDRT), seem to require full coindexing of anaphora and their antecedents prior to interpretation. Others, such as Kamp’s Discourse Representation Theory (DRT), do not require this coindexing and seem to have an important advantage here. In this squib I will sketch a procedure that the first group of theories may help themselves to so that (...)
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  31. Why is a truth-predicate like a pronoun?Arvid Båve - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (2):297 - 310.
    I begin with an exposition of the two main variants of the Prosentential Theory of Truth (PT), those of Dorothy Grover et al. and Robert Brandom. Three main types of criticisms are then put forward: (1) material criticisms to the effect that (PT) does not adequately explain the linguistic data, (2) an objection to the effect that no variant of (PT) gives a properly unified account of the various occurrences of "true" in English, and, most importantly, (3) a charge that (...)
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  32. What Mary Did Yesterday: Reflections on Knowledge-wh.Berit Brogaard - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (2):439 - 467.
    Reductionists about knowledge-wh hold that "s knows-wh" (e.g. "John knows who stole his car") is reducible to "there is a proposition p such that s knows that p, and p answers the indirect question of the wh-clause." Anti-reductionists hold that "s knows-wh" is reducible to "s knows that p, as the true answer to the indirect question of the wh-clause." I argue that both of these positions are defective. I then offer a new analysis of knowledge-wh as a special kind (...)
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  33. Online update: Temporal, modal, and de se anaphora in polysynthetic discourse.Maria Bittner - 2007 - In Chris Barker & Pauline Jacobson (eds.), Direct Compositionality. Oxford University Press. pp. 11--363.
    This paper introduces a framework for direct surface composition by online update. The surface string is interpreted as is, with each morpheme in turn updating the input state of information and attention. A formal representation language, Logic of Centering, is defined and some crosslinguistic constraints on lexical meanings and compositional operations are formulated.
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  34. The but not all: A partitive account of plural definite descriptions.Berit Brogaard - 2007 - Mind and Language 22 (4):402–426.
    A number of authors in favor of a unitary account of singular descriptions have alleged that the unitary account can be extrapolated to account for plural definite descriptions. In this paper I take a closer look at this suggestion. I argue that while the unitary account is clearly onto something right, it is in the end empirically inadequate. At the end of the paper I offer a new partitive account of plural definite descriptions that avoids the problems with both the (...)
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  35. 'There's something it's like' and the structure of consciousness.Benj Hellie - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (3):441--63.
    I discuss the meaning of 'There's something e is like', in the context of a reply to Eric Lormand's 'The explanatory stopgap'. I argue that Lormand is wrong to think it has a specially perceptual meaning. Rather, it has one of at least four candidate meanings: e is some way as regards its subject; e is some way and e's being that way is in the possession of its subject; e is some way in the awareness of its subject; e's (...)
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  36. Generic one, arbitrary PRO, and the first person.Friederike Moltmann - 2006 - Natural Language Semantics 14 (3):257–281.
    The generic pronoun 'one' (or its empty counterpart, arbitrary PRO) exhibits a range of properties that show a special connection to the first person, or rather the relevant intentional agent (speaker, addressee, or described agent). The paper argues that generic 'one' involves generic quantification in which the predicate is applied to a given entity ‘as if’ to the relevant agent himself. This is best understood in terms of simulation, a central notion in some recent developments in the philosophy of mind (...)
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  37. Binding On the Fly: Cross-Sentential Anaphora in Variable— Free Semantics.Anna Szabolcsi - 2003 - In R. Oehrle & J. Kruijff (eds.), Resource Sensitivity, Binding, and Anaphora. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 215--227.
    Combinatory logic (Curry and Feys 1958) is a “variable-free” alternative to the lambda calculus. The two have the same expressive power but build their expressions differently. “Variable-free” semantics is, more precisely, “free of variable binding”: it has no operation like abstraction that turns a free variable into a bound one; it uses combinators—operations on functions—instead. For the general linguistic motivation of this approach, see the works of Steedman, Szabolcsi, and Jacobson, among others. The standard view in linguistics is that reflexive (...)
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  38. Topical Referents for Individuals and Possibilities.Maria Bittner - 2001 - In R. Hastings, B. Jackson & Z. Zvolensky (eds.), Proceedings from SALT XI. CLC.
    Partee (1973) noted anaphoric parallels between English tenses and pronouns. Since then these parallels have been analyzed in terms of type-neutral principles of discourse anaphora. Recently, Stone (1997) extended the anaphoric parallel to English modals. In this paper I extend the story to languages of other types. This evidence also shows that centering parallels are even more detailed than previously recognized. Based on this evidence, I propose a semantic representation language (Logic of Change with Centered Worlds), in which the observed (...)
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  39. Variables.Joshua Bruce Dever - 1998 - Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
    Variables is a project at the intersection of the philosophies of language and logic. Frege, in the Begriffsschrift, crystalized the modern notion of formal logic through the first fully successful characterization of the behaviour of quantifiers. In Variables, I suggest that the logical tradition we have inherited from Frege is importantly flawed, and that Frege's move from treating quantifiers as noun phrases bearing word-world connection to sentential operators in the guise of second-order predicates leaves us both philosophically and technically wanting.
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  40. Quantification in Eskimo: A Challenge for Compositional Semantics.Maria Bittner - 1995 - In E. Bach, E. Jelinek, A. Kratzer & B. Partee (eds.), Quantification in Natural Languages. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 59--80.
    This paper describes quantificational structures in Greenlandic Eskimo (Kalaallisut), a language where familiar quantificational meanings are expressed in ways that are quite different from English. Evidence from this language thus poses some formidable challenges for cross-linguistic theories of compositional semantics.
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  41. Tense and the logic of change.Reinhard Muskens - 1995 - In Urs Egli, Peter Pause, Christoph Schwarze, Arnim von Stechow & Götz Wienold (eds.), Lexical Knowledge in the Organization of Language. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. pp. 147-183.
    In this paper it is shown how the DRT (Discourse Representation Theory) treatment of temporal anaphora can be formalized within a version of Montague Semantics that is based on classical type logic.
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  42. Situated processing of pronominal anaphora.Erkan Tin & Varol Akman - 1994 - In Harald Trost (ed.), Proceedings of KONVENS'94. Vienna, Austria: Informatik Xpress.
    We describe a novel approach to the analysis of pronominal anaphora in Turkish. A computational medium which is based on situation theory is used as our implementation tool. The task of resolving pronominal anaphora is demonstrated in this environment which employs situation-theoretic constructs for processing.
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  43. Mental anaphora.Michael McKinsey - 1986 - Synthese 66 (1):159 - 175.
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  44. De quelques implications théoriques de l'étude des relations à longue distance.Pierre Pica - 1986 - In Mitsou Ronat & Daniel Couquaux (eds.), La grammaire modulaire. Minuit. pp. 187--209.
    Nous distinguons deux types d'anaphores en montrant que la comprehension des relations à longue distance met en jeu plusieurs propriétés de la grammaire comme l'association, ou non, avec un rôle thématique, ou à une position argumentale, et montrons comment les mécanismes mis en jeu sont universels - et ont des conséquences sur l'architecture de la grammaire (sur la définition de la notion de c-commande par exemple). L'article montre en particulier qu'il ne peut y avoir de réciproque ou de clitique lié (...)
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  45. NASSLLI 2016 Dynamic Semantics (3): Indexicality.Maria Bittner - unknown
    Featured course on "Dynamic Semantics" at NASSLLI 2016. Day 3: Indexicality. Abstract: Cross-linguistic evidence shows that indexicality, too, crucially involves context change. Speaking up focuses attention on that event and thereby makes it available for discourse reference (by "i", "you", etc). In Kalaallisut, this explains parallel grammatical marking of indexical reference and topic-oriented anaphora. Moreover, shiftable indexicals in Slavey show that certain expressions, e.g. attitude verbs, may update the top perspectival discourse referent from the speech event to an attitude state.
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  46. NASSLLI 2016 Dynamic Semantics (4): Temporality.Maria Bittner - unknown
    Featured course on "Dynamic Semantics" at NASSLLI 2016. Day 4: Temporality. Abstract: Cross-linguistic evidence shows that temporal reference likewise involves context change. In every language, temporal reference is similar to top-level nominal reference, except that instead of updating or referring to top-ranked individuals, temporal grammatical systems update or refer to top-ranked temporal referents (events, states, or times). We discuss and compare temporal reference in two sample languages: tense-based English and tenseless aspect-based Mandarin.
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  47. NASSLLI 2016 Dynamic Semantics (5): Quantification.Maria Bittner - unknown
    Featured course on "Dynamic Semantics" at NASSLLI 2016. Day 5: Quantification. Abstract: In discourse, quantifiers can function as antecedents or anaphors. We analyze a sample discourse in Dynamic Plural Logic (DPlL, van den Berg 1993, 1994), which represents not only current discourse referents, but also current relations by means of plural information states. This makes it possible to analyze quantification as structured discourse reference. Finally, the DPlL analysis is transposed into Update with Centering, to simplify the formalism and relate quantification (...)
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  48. Sample derivations in Update with Centering.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Appendix to lecture notes on "Nominal (re)centering: From Kalaallisut to UC1". Day 2 of advanced course on "Cross-linguistic compositional semantics" at LSA Summer Institute 2009 at UC Berkeley.
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  49. Individuals and possibilities (3): Notes on issues raised by stone & Hardt (1997).Maria Bittner - manuscript
    This is the last of three lectures on anaphoric parallels between individuals and possibilities across languages (IMS, Stuttgart, 2000).
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  50. Infinitives vs. subjunctives: What do we learn from obviation and from exemptions from obviation? (2010).Anna Szabolcsi - manuscript
    Ruwet observed that subjunctives indicate a discontinuity between action and will, typically resulting in a disjoint reference effect known as obviation (unacceptable "Je veux que je parte"). In a certain set of cases, however, the attitude-holder can felicitously bind the pronominal subject of the subjunctive clause (exemption from obviation). This seminar handout examines the phenomenon in Hungarian, with additional data from Russian, Polish, and Romanian.
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