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  1. Events and Countability.Friederike Moltmann - manuscript
    There is an emerging view according to which countability is not an integral part of the lexical meaning of singular count nouns, but is ‘added on’ or ‘made available’, whether syntactically, semantically or both. This view has been pursued by Borer and Rothstein among others in order to deal with classifier languages such as Chinese as well as challenges to standard views of the mass-count distinction such as object mass nouns such as furniture. I will discuss a range of data, (...)
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  2. Outline of an Object-Based Truthmaker Semantics for Modals and Propositional Attitudes.Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - In Dirk Kindermann, Peter Van Elswyk & Andy Egan (eds.), Unstructured Content. Oxford University Press.
    Against the background of standard possible-worlds semantics, this paper outlines a truthmaker approach to the semantics of attitude reports and modal sentences based on an ontology of attitudinal and modal objects.
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  3. Truthmaker-Based Content: Syntactic, Semantic and Ontological Contexts.Friederike Moltmann - 2021 - Theoretical Linguistics 47 (1-2):155-187.
    This is a reply to the commentaries on my paper 'Truthmaker Semantics for Natural Language: Attitude Verbs, Modals, and Intensional Transitive Verbs'. The paper is a commissioned 'target' article, with commentaries by W. Davis, B. Arsenijevic, K. Moulton, K. Liefke, M. Kaufman, R. Matthews, P. Portner and A. Rubinstein, P. Elliott, and G. Ramchand.
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  4. Truthmaker Semantics for Natural Language: Attitude Verbs, Modals, and Intensional Transitive Verbs.Friederike Moltmann - 2020 - Theoretical Linguistics 3:159-200.
    This paper gives an outline of truthmaker semantics for natural language against the background of standard possible-worlds semantics. It develops a truthmaker semantics for attitude reports and deontic modals based on an ontology of attitudinal and modal objects and on a semantic function of clauses as predicates of such objects. It also présents new motivations for 'object-based truthmaker semantics' from intensional transitive verbs such as ‘need’, ‘look for’, ‘own’, and ‘buy’ and gives an outline of their semantics. This paper is (...)
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  5. Weak Speech Reports.Martín Abreu Zavaleta - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (8):2139-2166.
    Indirect speech reports can be true even if they attribute to the speaker the saying of something weaker than what she in fact expressed, yet not all weakenings of what the speaker expressed yield true reports. For example, if Anna utters ‘Bob and Carla passed the exam’, we can accurately report her as having said that Carla passed the exam, but we can not accurately report her as having said that either it rains or it does not, or that either (...)
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  6. Situations, Alternatives, and the Semantics of 'Cases'.Friederike Moltmann - 2019 - Linguistics and Philosophy (1):1-41.
    This paper presents a systematic semantic study of constructions with the noun 'case'. It argues that 'cases' are situations acting as truthmakers within a sentential or epistemic case space. It develops a truthmaker-based alternative semantics of 'case'-constructions, based on Fine's recent truthmaker semantics.
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  7. Intensional Relative Clauses and the Semantics of Variable Objects.Friederike Moltmann - 2018 - In Manfred Krifka & Schenner Mathias (eds.), Reconstruction Effects in Relative Clauses. Berlin: De Gruyter. pp. 427-453..
    NPs with intensional relative clauses such as 'the book John needs to write' pose a significant challenge for semantic theory. Such NPs act like referential terms, yet they do not stand for a particular actual object. This paper will develop a semantic analysis of such NPs on the basis of the notion of a variable object. The analysis avoids a range of difficulties that a more standard analysis based on the notion of an individual concept would face. Most importantly, unlike (...)
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  8. The Real Problem of Bishop Sentences.Hsiang-Yun Chen - 2017 - NTU Philosophical Review 54 (4):129-162.
    Bishop sentences such as “If a bishop meets a bishop, he blesses him” have long been considered problematic for the descriptivist (or E-type) approach of donkey anaphora (e.g. Evans, 1977; Heim, 1990; and Neale, 1990). Elbourne (2005) offers a situational descriptivist analysis that allegedly solves the problem, and furthermore extends its explanatory coverage to bishop sentence with coordinate subjects. However, I throw serious doubts on Elbourne’s analysis. Specifically, I argue that the purported solution is committed to the use of unbound (...)
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  9. Tempered Pragmatism.Ian Rumfitt - 2016 - In Cheryl Misak & Huw Price (eds.), The Practical Turn: Pragmatism in Britain in the Long Twentieth Century. Oup/Ba.
    This paper assesses the prospects of a pragmatist theory of content. I begin by criticising the theory presented in D.H. Mellor’s essay ‘Successful Semantics’. I then identify problems and lacunae in the pragmatist theory of meaning sketched in Chapter 13 of Dummett’s The Logical Basis of Metaphysics. The prospects are brighter, I contend, for a tempered pragmatism, in which the theory of content is permitted to draw upon irreducible notions of truth and falsity. I sketch the shape of such a (...)
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  10. On Language Adequacy.Urszula Wybraniec-Skardowska - 2015 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 40 (1):257-292.
    The paper concentrates on the problem of adequate reflection of fragments of reality via expressions of language and inter-subjective knowledge about these fragments, called here, in brief, language adequacy. This problem is formulated in several aspects, the most being: the compatibility of language syntax with its bi-level semantics: intensional and extensional. In this paper, various aspects of language adequacy find their logical explication on the ground of the formal-logical theory T of any categorial language L generated by the so-called classical (...)
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  11. Chapter 5: Intensional Transitive Verbs and Their 'Objects'.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - In Abstract Objects and the semantics of Natural Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This chapter gives a truthmaker-based account of the semantics of 'reifying' quantifiers like 'something' when they act as complements of intensional transitive verbs ('need', 'look for'). It argues that such quantifiers range over 'variable satisfiers' of the attitudinal object described by the verb (e.g. the need or the search).
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  12. Situated Semantics.Varol Akman - 2009 - In Murat Aydede & P. Robbins (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 401-418.
    Situated semantics can be regarded as an attempt at placing situational context (context of situation) at the center of all discussions of meaning. Situation theory is a theory of information content that takes context very seriously. Individuals, properties, relations, and spatiotemporal locations are basic constructs of situation theory. Individuals are conceived as invariants; having properties and standing in relations, they tend to persist in time and space. An anchoring function binds the location parameters to appropriate objects present in the grounding (...)
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  13. Situation Semantics.Varol Akman - 2009 - In Keith Brown & Keith Allan (eds.), Concise Encyclopedia of Semantics. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier. pp. 890-893.
    This article first appeared in "Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics 2nd Edition," Keith Brown, ed., pp. 398-401, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2006.
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  14. Situational Semantics.Varol Akman - 2009 - In Siobhan Chapman & Christopher Routledge (eds.), Key Ideas in Linguistics and the Philosophy of Language. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press. pp. 209-212.
    An information-based approach to natural language semantics. Formulated by Jon Barwise and John Perry in their influential book Situations and Attitudes (1983), it is built upon the notion of a 'situation' --- a limited part of the real world that a cognitive agent can individuate and has access to. A situation represents a lump of information in terms of a collection of facts. It is through the actualist ontology of situations that the meaning of natural language utterances can be elucidated.
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  15. Analogy-Making in Situation Theory.Emre Sahin & Varol Akman - 2008 - In Randal B. Bernstein & Wesley N. Curtis (eds.), Artificial Intelligence: New Research. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.. pp. 299-321.
    Analogy-making is finding analogies between different situations. In this paper, we provide a new model of computational analogy-making which uses Situation Theory as its formal background. Situation Theory is a semantic and logical theory which provides a naturalistic way to represent relations in situations. The system described in this paper is aimed at solving analogy problems made by basic geometric figures in a chessboard-like environment.
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  16. In Search of Intended Meaning: Investigating Barwise's Equation $C_R(S, C) = P$.Varol Akman - 2003 - Barwise and Situation Semantics, a Workshop Co-Located with CONTEXT 2003 Conference, Stanford, CA.
    Here, S is a sentence—or possibly a smaller or larger unit of meaningful expression for a language—that's written by an author and c is the circumstance in which S is used. R is defined as the language conventions holding between an author and a reader (or better yet, his readership). P, probably the most important part of the equation, is the content of S or, the intended meaning of the author. We assume that the communication between an author and a (...)
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  17. Introduction to the Special Issue on Philosophical Foundations of Artificial Intelligence.Varol Akman - 2000 - Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 12 (3):247-250.
    This is the guest editor's introduction to a JETAI special issue on philosophical foundations of AI.
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  18. Guest Editor’s Introduction: Situations and Artificial Intelligence.Varol Akman - 1998 - Minds and Machines 8 (4):475-477.
    In this special issue of Minds and Machines ("Situations and Artificial Intelligence") we take a close look at recent situation-theoretic research which has mostly originated within a philosophical framework but promises to have strong connotations for Artificial Intelligence workers. The seven papers which make up this special issue (three of the papers appear in Minds and Machines 9(1)) demonstrate the advantages of the situation-based approach towards problems with a definite AI flavor.
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  19. Notions and Oracles.Varol Akman - 1997 - In The Role of Pragmatics in Contemporary Philosophy: Contributions of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society. Vienna: Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society.
    On Crimmins and Perry’s account of propositional attitude ascription (1989), beliefs are concrete cognitive structures—particulars ("things in the head") that belong to an agent and that have a lifetime. They are related to the world and to other cognitive structures and abilities, allowing one to classify the latter by propositional content. Containing ideas and notions as constituents, beliefs are structured entities. The difference between notions and ideas is the difference between an agent’s ways of thinking about individuals vs. properties.
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  20. The Use of Situation Theory in Context Modeling.Varol Akman & Mehmet Surav - 1997 - Computational Intelligence 13 (3):427-438.
    At the heart of natural language processing is the understanding of context dependent meanings. This paper presents a preliminary model of formal contexts based on situation theory. It also gives a worked-out example to show the use of contexts in lifting, i.e., how propositions holding in a particular context transform when they are moved to another context. This is useful in NLP applications where preserving meaning is a desideratum.
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  21. Situated Nonmonotonic Temporal Reasoning with BABY-SIT.Erkan Tin & Varol Akman - 1997 - AI Communications 10 (2):93-109.
    After a review of situation theory and previous attempts at 'computational' situation theory, we present a new programming environment, BABY-SIT, which is based on situation theory. We then demonstrate how problems requiring formal temporal reasoning can be solved in this framework. Specifically, the Yale Shooting Problem, which is commonly regarded as a canonical problem for nonmonotonic temporal reasoning, is implemented in BABY-SIT using Yoav Shoham's causal theories.
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  22. Steps Toward Formalizing Context.Varol Akman & Mehmet Surav - 1996 - AI Magazine 17 (3):55-72.
    The importance of contextual reasoning is emphasized by various researchers in AI. (A partial list includes John McCarthy and his group, R. V. Guha, Yoav Shoham, Giuseppe Attardi and Maria Simi, and Fausto Giunchiglia and his group.) Here, we survey the problem of formalizing context and explore what is needed for an acceptable account of this abstract notion.
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  23. Information-Oriented Computation with BABY-SIT.Erkan Tin & Varol Akman - 1996 - In Jerry Seligman & Dag Westerståhl (eds.), Logic, Language and Computation, Volume 1. Stanford, CA: Center for the Study of Language and Information Publications. pp. 19-34.
    While situation theory and situation semantics provide an appropriate framework for a realistic model-theoretic treatment of natural language, serious thinking on their 'computational' aspects has only recently started. Existing proposals mainly offer a Prolog- or Lisp-like programming environment with varying degrees of divergence from the ontology of situation theory. In this paper, we introduce a computational medium (called BABY-SIT) based on situations. The primary motivation underlying BABY-SIT is to facilitate the development and testing of programs in domains ranging from linguistics (...)
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  24. Contexts, Oracles, and Relevance.Varol Akman & Mehmet Surav - 1995 - In Proceedings of the AAAI-95 Fall Symposium on Formalizing Context (AAAI Technical Report FS-95-02). Palo Alto, CA: Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Press. pp. 23-30.
    We focus on how we should define the relevance of information to a context for information processing agents, such as oracles. We build our formalization of relevance upon works in pragmatics which refer to contextual information without giving any explicit representation of context. We use a formalization of context (due to us) in Situation Theory, and demonstrate its power in this task. We also discuss some computational aspects of this formalization.
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  25. Modeling Context with Situations.Mehmet Surav & Varol Akman - 1995 - In P. Brezillon & S. Abu-Hakima (eds.), IJCAI-95 Workshop on Modeling Context in Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (Research Report 95/11). Paris: LAFORIA. pp. 145-156.
    The issue of context arises in assorted areas of Artificial Intelligence. Although its importance is realized by various researchers, there is not much work towards a useful formalization. In this paper, we will present a preliminary model (based on Situation Theory) and give examples to show the use of context in various fields, and the advantages gained by the acceptance of our proposal.
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  26. Situations and Computation: An Overview of Recent Research.Erkan Tin & Varol Akman - 1995 - In J. Griffith (ed.), Topics in Constraint Grammar Formalism for Computational Linguistics (SfS Report 4-95). Tübingen: Seminar für Sprachwissenschaft, Eberhard-Karls-Universität.
    Serious thinking about the computational aspects of situation theory is just starting. There have been some recent proposals in this direction (viz. PROSIT and ASTL), with varying degrees of divergence from the ontology of the theory. We believe that a programming environment incorporating bona fide situation-theoretic constructs is needed and describe our very recent BABY-SIT implementation. A detailed critical account of PROSIT and ASTL is also offered in order to compare our system with these pioneering and influential frameworks.
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  27. Towards Situation-Oriented Programming Languages.Erkan Tin, Varol Akman & Murat Ersan - 1995 - ACM SIGPLAN Notices 30 (1):27-36.
    Recently, there have been some attempts towards developing programming languages based on situation theory. These languages employ situation-theoretic constructs with varying degrees of divergence from the ontology of the theory. In this paper, we review three of these programming languages.
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  28. Ripping the Text Apart at Different Seams.Varol Akman - 1994 - Stanford Humanities Review 4 (1).
    This is a brief reply to Herbert A. Simon's fine paper "Literary Criticism: A Cognitive Approach," Stanford Humanities Review, Special Supplement (Bridging the Gap: Where Cognitive Science Meets Literary Criticism), vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 1-26, Spring 1994.
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  29. Computational Situation Theory.Erkan Tin & Varol Akman - 1994 - ACM SIGART Bulletin 5 (4):4-17.
    Situation theory has been developed over the last decade and various versions of the theory have been applied to a number of linguistic issues. However, not much work has been done in regard to its computational aspects. In this paper, we review the existing approaches towards 'computational situation theory' with considerable emphasis on our own research.
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  30. 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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  31. BABY-SIT: A Computational Medium Based on Situations.Erkan Tin & Varol Akman - 1993 - In Paul Dekker & Martin Stokhof (eds.), 9th Amsterdam Colloquium. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Institute for Logic, Language and Computation.
    While situation theory and situation semantics provide an appropriate framework for a realistic model-theoretic treatment of natural language, serious thinking on their 'computational' aspects has just started. Existing proposals mainly offer a Prolog- or Lisp-like programming environment with varying degrees of divergence from the ontology of situation theory. In this paper, we introduce a computational medium (called BABY-SIT) based on situations. The primary motivation underlying BABY-SIT is to facilitate the development and testing of programs in domains ranging from linguistics to (...)
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  32. Critical Study: Jon Barwise & John Perry, Situations and Attitudes. [REVIEW]Sten Lindström - 1991 - Noûs (5):743-770.
    The present essay is a critical study of Barwise and Perry’s book, emphasizing the logical and model-theoretical aspects of their work. I begin by presenting the authors’ criticism of the classical view of logic and semantics within the tradition of Frege, Russell and Tarski. In this connection, I discuss the so-called Frege argument (“the slingshot”). I try to show that the argument appears inconclusive, not only from a situation-theoretic perspective, but also from such alternative perspectives as orthodox Fregean semantics or (...)
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  33. Analogy.Todd Davies - 1985 - In CSLI Informal Notes Series. Stanford, CA, USA: Center for the Study of Language and Information, No. IN-CSLI-85-4,.
    This essay (a revised version of my undergraduate honors thesis at Stanford) constructs a theory of analogy as it applies to argumentation and reasoning, especially as used in fields such as philosophy and law. The word analogy has been used in different senses, which the essay defines. The theory developed herein applies to analogia rationis, or analogical reasoning. Building on the framework of situation theory, a type of logical relation called determination is defined. This determination relation solves a puzzle about (...)
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