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  1. Context Dependence and Implicit Arguments in Existentials.Itamar Francez - 2010 - Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (1):11-30.
    This paper discusses the semantics of bare existentials , i.e. existentials in which nothing follows the post copular NP (e.g. There are four sections ). While it has sometimes been recognized that the interpretation of such sentences depends in some way on context, the exact nature of the context dependence involved has not been properly understood. It is shown that the meaning of bare existentials involves a set-denoting implicit argument, and that the range of interpretations found with bare existentials is (...)
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  • Definiteness and Determinacy.Elizabeth Coppock & David Beaver - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (5):377-435.
    This paper distinguishes between definiteness and determinacy. Definiteness is seen as a morphological category which, in English, marks a uniqueness presupposition, while determinacy consists in denoting an individual. Definite descriptions are argued to be fundamentally predicative, presupposing uniqueness but not existence, and to acquire existential import through general type-shifting operations that apply not only to definites, but also indefinites and possessives. Through these shifts, argumental definite descriptions may become either determinate or indeterminate. The latter option is observed in examples like (...)
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  • Coreference and Meaning.N. Ángel Pinillos - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (2):301 - 324.
    Sometimes two expressions in a discourse can be about the same thing in a way that makes that very fact evident to the participants. Consider, for example, 'he' and 'John' in 'John went to the store and he bought some milk'. Let us call this 'de jure' coreference. Other times, coreference is 'de facto' as with 'Mark Twain' and 'Samuel Clemens' in a sincere use of 'Mark Twain is not Samuel Clemens'. Here, agents can understand the speech without knowing that (...)
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  • Deixis.Una Stojnic, Matthew Stone & Ernie Lepore - 2013 - Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):502-525.
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  • 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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  • Structured Propositions in a Generative Grammar.Bryan Pickel - 2019 - Mind (510):329-366.
    Semantics in the Montagovian tradition combines two basic tenets. One tenet is that the semantic value of a sentence is an intension, a function from points of evaluations into truth-values. The other tenet is that the semantic value of a composite expression is the result of applying the function denoted by one component to arguments denoted by the other components. Many philosophers object to intensional semantics on the grounds that intensionally equivalent sentences do not substitute salva veritate into attitude ascriptions. (...)
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  • Reciprocals Distribute Over Information States.J. Dotlacil - 2013 - Journal of Semantics 30 (4):423-477.
    Reciprocal sentences require distributivity for the correct interpretation. In the semantic literature on reciprocals, it is standard to assume that distributivity spans almost everything in reciprocal clauses, including not only reciprocals but also predicates and their arguments. In contrast to this tradition, I argue that nothing but reciprocals themselves should be interpreted distributively. Such a semantics of reciprocal clauses can be accommodated in dynamic frameworks which can store and retrieve dependencies between pluralities, modeled as plural information states, i.e., sets of (...)
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  • Sentence-Internal Different as Quantifier-Internal Anaphora.Adrian Brasoveanu - 2011 - Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (2):93-168.
    The paper proposes the first unified account of deictic/sentence-external and sentence-internal readings of singular different . The empirical motivation for such an account is provided by a cross-linguistic survey and an analysis of the differences in distribution and interpretation between singular different , plural different and same (singular or plural) in English. The main proposal is that distributive quantification temporarily makes available two discourse referents within its nuclear scope, the values of which are required by sentence-internal uses of singular different (...)
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  • NASSLLI 2016 Dynamic Semantics (2): Anaphora.Maria Bittner - unknown
    Featured course on "Dynamic Semantics" at NASSLLI 2016. Day 2: Anaphora. Abstract: Cross-linguistic evidence shows that anaphora crucially involves context change. The logical representation system must be able to represent rank-based anaphora, because in every language the favorite anaphors -- e.g. Mandarin zeros, Kalaallisut inflections, English pronouns -- are restricted to refer to top-ranked antecedents (top-level anaphors, like Mandarin zeros or Kalaallisut inflections) or top- or 2nd-ranked antecedents (shallow anaphors, like English pronouns).
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  • Deontic Logic as a Study of Conditions of Rationality in Norm-Related Activities.Berislav Žarnić - 2016 - In Olivier Roy, Allard Tamminga & Malte Willer (eds.), Deontic Logic and Normative Systems. College Publications. pp. 272-287.
    The program put forward in von Wright's last works defines deontic logic as ``a study of conditions which must be satisfied in rational norm-giving activity'' and thus introduces the perspective of logical pragmatics. In this paper a formal explication for von Wright's program is proposed within the framework of set-theoretic approach and extended to a two-sets model which allows for the separate treatment of obligation-norms and permission norms. The three translation functions connecting the language of deontic logic with the language (...)
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  • Talking About Trees and Truth-Conditions.Reinhard Muskens - 2001 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 10 (4):417-455.
    We present Logical Description Grammar (LDG), a model ofgrammar and the syntax-semantics interface based on descriptions inelementary logic. A description may simultaneously describe the syntacticstructure and the semantics of a natural language expression, i.e., thedescribing logic talks about the trees and about the truth-conditionsof the language described. Logical Description Grammars offer a naturalway of dealing with underspecification in natural language syntax andsemantics. If a logical description (up to isomorphism) has exactly onetree plus truth-conditions as a model, it completely specifies thatgrammatical (...)
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  • A Type-Theoretical Approach for Ontologies: The Case of Roles.Patrick Barlatier & Richard Dapoigny - 2012 - Applied Ontology 7 (3):311-356.
    In the domain of ontology design as well as in Knowledge Representation, modeling universals is a challenging problem.Most approaches that have addressed this problem rely on Description Logics (DLs) but many difficulties remain, due to under-constrained representation which reduces the inferences that can be drawn and further causes problems in expressiveness. In mathematical logic and program checking, type theories have proved to be appealing but, so far they have not been applied in the formalization of ontologies. To bridge this gap, (...)
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  • The Sophisticated Kind Theory.Matt Teichman - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-47.
    Generic sentences are commonsense statements of the form ‘Fs are G,’ like ‘Bears have fur’ or ‘Rattlesnakes are poisonous.’ Kind theories hold that rather than being general statements about indivi...
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  • Dynamic Update Anaphora Logic: A Simple Analysis of Complex Anaphora.Ezra Keshet - 2018 - Journal of Semantics 35 (2):263-303.
    An antecedent relationship may hold between an indefinite and a pronoun across non-quantified sentences (‘Jane bought a book. She read it immediately.‘), from the restrictor to the nuclear scope of a single quantified sentence (‘Every woman who bought a book read it immediately.‘; Geach 1962), and even across two quantified sentences (‘Every woman bought a book. Most read it immediately.‘; Sells 1985). First-generation dynamic semantic systems (Kamp 1981; Heim 1983; Groenendijk & Stokhof 1991) cannot handle anaphora across quantified sentences, but (...)
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  • Decomposing Modal Quantification.A. Brasoveanu - 2010 - Journal of Semantics 27 (4):437-527.
    Providing a compositional interpretation procedure for discourses in which descriptions of complex dependencies between interrelated objects are incrementally built is a key challenge for natural language semantics. This article focuses on the interactions between the entailment particle therefore, modalized conditionals and modal subordination. It shows that the dependencies between individuals and possibilities that emerge out of such interactions can receive a unified compositional account in a system couched in classical type logic that integrates and simplifies van den Berg's dynamic plural (...)
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  • Exceptional Wide Scope as Anaphora to Quantificational Dependencies.Adrian Brasoveanu & Donka F. Farkas - manuscript
    The paper proposes a novel account to the problem of exceptional scope (ES) of (in)definites, e.g. the widest and intermediate scope readings of the sentence Every student of mine read every poem that a famous Romanian poet wrote before World War II. We propose that ES readings are available when the sentence is interpreted as anaphoric to quantificational domains and quantificational dependencies introduced in the previous discourse. For example, the two every quantifiers and the indefinite elaborate on the sets of (...)
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  • Structured Anaphora to Quantifier Domains: A Unified Account of Quantificational and Modal Subordination.Adrian Brasoveanu - manuscript
    The paper proposes an account of the contrast (noticed in Karttunen 1976) between the interpretations of the following two discourses: Harvey courts a girl at every convention. {She is very pretty. vs. She always comes to the banquet with him.}. The initial sentence is ambiguous between two quantifier scopings, but the first discourse as a whole allows only for the wide-scope indefinite reading, while the second allows for both. This cross-sentential interaction between quantifier scope and anaphora is captured by means (...)
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  • Structured Anaphora to Quantifier Domains: A Unified Account of Quantificational & Modal Subordination and Exceptional Wide Scope.Adrian Brasoveanu - manuscript
    The paper proposes a novel analysis of quantificational subordination, e.g. Harvey courts a woman at every convention. {She is very pretty. vs. She always comes to the banquet with him.} (Karttunen 1976), in particular of the fact that the indefinite in the initial sentence can have wide or narrow scope, but the first discourse as a whole allows only for the wide scope reading, while the second discourse allows for both readings. The cross-sentential interaction between scope and anaphora is captured (...)
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  • Conditional Questions.J. Isaacs & K. Rawlins - 2008 - Journal of Semantics 25 (3):269-319.
    This paper provides an analysis of conditional questions (CQs) that combines a dynamic semantics for conditionals with a partition semantics for questions. We propose that CQs are interpreted in two steps. First, a temporary context is created in which the propositional content of the antecedent is obtained. Second, the question in the consequent is asked relative to this temporary context. Subsequent answers are then asserted relative to the temporary context. Our analysis also has a pragmatic component. Previous analyses have augmented (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Partial Dynamic Semantics for Anaphora: Compositionality Without Syntactic Coindexation.Dag Trygve Truslew Haug - 2014 - Journal of Semantics 31 (4):fft008.
    This article points out problems in current dynamic treatments of anaphora and provides a new account that solves these by grafting Muskens' Compositional Discourse Representation Theory onto a partial theory of types. Partiality is exploited to keep track of which discourse referents have been introduced in the text (thus avoiding the overwrite problem) and to account for cases of anaphoric failure. Another key assumption is that the set of discourse referents is well-ordered, so that we can keep track of the (...)
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  • Inference and Computational Semantics.Patrick Blackburn & Michael Kohlhase - 2004 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 13 (2):117-120.
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  • The Grammar of Quantification and the Fine Structure of Interpretation Contexts.Adrian Brasoveanu - 2013 - Synthese 190 (15):3001-3051.
    Providing a compositional interpretation procedure for discourses in which descriptions of complex dependencies between interrelated objects are incrementally built is a key challenge for formal theories of natural language interpretation. This paper examines several quantificational phenomena and argues that to account for these phenomena, we need richly structured contexts of interpretation that are passed on between different parts of the same sentence and also across sentential boundaries. The main contribution of the paper is showing how we can add structure to (...)
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  • A Type Reduction From Proof-Conditional to Dynamic Semantics.Tim Fernando - 2001 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 30 (2):121-153.
    Dynamic and proof-conditional approaches to discourse (exemplified by Discourse Representation Theory and Type-Theoretical Grammar, respectively) are related through translations and transitions labeled by first-order formulas with anaphoric twists. Type-theoretic contexts are defined relative to a signature and instantiated modeltheoretically, subject to change.
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  • Underspecified Semantics.Reinhard Muskens - 2000 - In Klaus von Heusinger & Urs Egli (eds.), Reference and Anaphoric Relations. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 311--338.
    Ambiguities in natural language can multiply so fast that no person or machine can be expected to process a text of even moderate length by enumerating all possible disambiguations. A sentence containing $n$ scope bearing elements which are freely permutable will have $n!$ readings, if there are no other, say lexical or syntactic, sources of ambiguity. A series of $m$ such sentences would lead to $(n!)^m$ possibilities. All in all the growth of possibilities will be so fast that generating readings (...)
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  • Variable Handling and Compositionality: Comparing DRT and DTS.Yukiko Yana, Koji Mineshima & Daisuke Bekki - 2019 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 28 (2):261-285.
    This paper provides a detailed comparison between discourse representation theory and dependent type semantics, two frameworks for discourse semantics. Although it is often stated that DRT and those frameworks based on dependent types are mutually exchangeable, we argue that they differ with respect to variable handling, more specifically, how substitution and other operations on variables are defined. This manifests itself in two recalcitrant problems posed for DRT; namely, the overwrite problem and the duplication problem. We will see that these problems (...)
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  • Exclusively Indexical Deduction.Paul Dekker - 2016 - Review of Symbolic Logic 9 (3):603-637.
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  • Reductionism About Understanding Why.Insa Lawler - 2016 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 116 (2):229-236.
    Paulina Sliwa (2015) argues that knowing why p is necessary and sufficient for understanding why p. She tries to rebut recent attacks against the necessity and sufficiency claims, and explains the gradability of understanding why in terms of knowledge. I argue that her attempts do not succeed, but I indicate more promising ways to defend reductionism about understanding why throughout the discussion.
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  • Logic and Semantic Analysis.Ernest Lepore & Matthew Stone - 2006 - In Dale Jacquette (ed.), Philosophy of Logic. North Holland. pp. 173.
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  • Situated Utterances and Discourse Relations.Ernest Lepore, Una Stojnic & Matthew Stone - unknown
    Utterances in situated activity are about the world. Theories and systems normally capture this by assuming references must be resolved to real-world entities in utterance understanding. We describe a number of puzzles and problems for this approach, and propose an alternative semantic representation using discourse relations that link utterances to the nonlinguistic context to capture the context-dependent interpretation of situated utterances. Our approach promises better empirical coverage and more straightforward system building. Substantiating these advantages is work in progress.
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  • Completeness in Hybrid Type Theory.Carlos Areces, Patrick Blackburn, Antonia Huertas & María Manzano - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Logic (2-3):1-30.
    We show that basic hybridization (adding nominals and @ operators) makes it possible to give straightforward Henkin-style completeness proofs even when the modal logic being hybridized is higher-order. The key ideas are to add nominals as expressions of type t, and to extend to arbitrary types the way we interpret $@_i$ in propositional and first-order hybrid logic. This means: interpret $@_i\alpha _a$ , where $\alpha _a$ is an expression of any type $a$ , as an expression of type $a$ that (...)
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  • Conditionals, Meaning, and Mood.William Starr - 2010 - Dissertation, Rutgers University
    This work explores the hypothesis that natural language is a tool for changing a language user's state of mind and, more specifically, the hypothesis that a sentence's meaning is constituted by its characteristic role in fulfilling this purpose. This view contrasts with the dominant approach to semantics due to Frege, Tarski and others' work on artificial languages: language is first and foremost a tool for representing the world. Adapted to natural language by Davidson, Lewis, Montague, et. al. this dominant approach (...)
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  • Quotation in Context.Bart Geurts & Emar Maier - 2005 - In Philippe de Brabanter (ed.), Hybrid Quotations. John Benjamins. pp. 109-28.
    It appears that in mixed quotations like the following, the quoted expression is used and mentioned at the same time: (1) George says Tony is his ``bestest friend''. Most theories seek to account for this observation by assuming that mixed quotations operate at two levels of content at once. In contradistinction to such two-dimensional theories, we propose that quotation involves just a single level of content. Quotation always produces a change in meaning of the quoted expression, and if the quotation (...)
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  • Proper Nouns.Samuel Cumming - unknown
    This dissertation is an experiment: what happens if we treat proper names as anaphoric expressions on a par with pronouns? The first thing to notice is that a name's `antecedent' can occur in a discourse prior to the one containing the name. An individual may be introduced and tagged with a name in one context, and then retrieved using the name in a later context. To allow for discourse-crossing anaphora, in addition to the usual cross-sentential anaphora, a revision of discourse (...)
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  • Construction by Description in Discourse Representation.Noor van Leusen & Reinhard Muskens - 2003 - In Jaroslav Peregrin (ed.), Meaning: The Dynamic Turn. Elsevier. pp. 33-65.
    This paper uses classical logic for a simultaneous description of the syntax and semantics of a fragment of English and it is argued that such an approach to natural language allows procedural aspects of linguistic theory to get a purely declarative formulation. In particular, it will be shown how certain construction rules in Discourse Representation Theory, such as the rule that indefinites create new discourse referents and definites pick up an existing referent, can be formulated declaratively if logic is used (...)
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  • Structured Discourse Reference to Individuals.Adrian Brasoveanu - manuscript
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  • The Dynamics of Discourse Situations (Extended Abstract).Massimo Poesio & Reinhard Muskens - 1997 - In Paul Dekker, Martin Stokhof & Yde Venema (eds.), Proceedings of the Eleventh Amsterdam Colloquium. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam. pp. 247-252.
    The effects of utterances such as cue phrases, keep-turn markers, and grounding signals cannot be characterized as changes to a shared record of the propositions under discussed: the simplest (and arguably most natural) way of characterizing the meaning of these utterances is in terms of a theory in which the conversational score is seen as a record of the discourse situation, or at least of the speech acts that have been performed. The problem then becomes to explain how discourse entities (...)
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  • Description Theory, LTAGs and Underspecified Semantics.Reinhard Muskens & Emiel Krahmer - 1998 - In Anne Abeillé, Tilman Becker, Giorgio Satta & K. Vijay-Shanker (eds.), Fourth International Workshop on Tree Adjoining Grammars and Related Frameworks. Philadelphia, PA: Institute for Research in Cognitive Science. pp. 112-115.
    An attractive way to model the relation between an underspecified syntactic representation and its completions is to let the underspecified representation correspond to a logical description and the completions to the models of that description. This approach, which underlies the Description Theory of Marcus et al. 1983 has been integrated in Vijay-Shanker 1992 with a pure unification approach to Lexicalized Tree-Adjoining Grammars (Joshi et al. 1975, Schabes 1990). We generalize Description Theory by integrating semantic information, that is, we propose to (...)
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  • Order-Independence and Underspecification.Reinhard Muskens - 2004 - In Hans Kamp & Barbara Hall Partee (eds.), Context-Dependence in the Analysis of Linguistic Meaning. Elsevier. pp. 11--239.
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  • Varieties of Update.Sarah E. Murray - 2014 - Semantics and Pragmatics 7 (2):1--53.
    This paper discusses three potential varieties of update: updates to the common ground, structuring updates, and updates that introduce discourse referents. These different types of update are used to model different aspects of natural language phenomena. Not-at-issue information directly updates the common ground. The illocutionary mood of a sentence structures the context. Other updates introduce discourse referents of various types, including propositional discourse referents for at-issue information. Distinguishing these types of update allows a unified treatment of a broad range of (...)
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  • Discourse Semantics with Information Structure.Noortje J. Venhuizen, Johan Bos, Petra Hendriks & Harm Brouwer - 2018 - Journal of Semantics 35 (1):127-169.
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  • Hybrid Type Theory: A Quartet in Four Movements.Carlos Areces, Patrick Blackburn, Antonia Huertas & María Manzano - 2011 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 15 (2):225.
    Este artigo canta uma canção — uma canção criada ao unir o trabalho de quatro grandes nomes na história da lógica: Hans Reichenbach, Arthur Prior, Richard Montague, e Leon Henkin. Embora a obra dos primeiros três desses autores tenha sido previamente combinada, acrescentar as ideias de Leon Henkin é o acréscimo requerido para fazer com que essa combinação funcione no nível lógico. Mas o presente trabalho não se concentra nas tecnicalidades subjacentes (que podem ser encontradas em Areces, Blackburn, Huertas, e (...)
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  • Representing Communicative Intentions in Collaborative Conversational Agents.Matthew Stone - unknown
    This paper pursues a formal analogy between natural language dialogue and collaborative real-world action in general. The analogy depends on an analysis of two aspects of collaboration that figure crucially in language use. First, agents must be able to coordinate abstractly about future decisions which cannot be made on present information. Second, when agents finally take such decisions, they must again coordinate in order to interpret one anothers’ actions as collaborative. The contribution of this paper is a general representation of (...)
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  • Designing Meaningful Agents.Matthew Stone - 2004 - Cognitive Science 28 (5):781-809.
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  • Semantics and Computational Semantics.Matthew Stone - unknown
    Interdisciplinary investigations marry the methods and concerns of different fields. Computer science is the study of precise descriptions of finite processes; semantics is the study of meaning in language. Thus, computational semantics embraces any project that approaches the phenomenon of meaning by way of tasks that can be performed by following definite sets of mechanical instructions. So understood, computational semantics revels in applying semantics, by creating intelligent devices whose broader behavior fits the meanings of utterances, and not just their form. (...)
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  • Dynamic Discourse Referents for Tense and Modals.Matthew Stone & Daniel Hardt - 1999 - In Harry Bunt & Reinhard Muskins (eds.), Computing Meaning. Kluwer. pp. 302-321.
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  • Conversational Contrast and Conventional Parallel: Topic Implicatures and Additive Presuppositions.K. J. Saebo - 2004 - Journal of Semantics 21 (2):199-217.
    Additive particles or adverbs like too or again are sometimes obligatory. This does not follow from the meaning commonly ascribed to them. I argue that the text without the additive is incoherent because the context contradicts a contrast implicature stemming from the additive's associate, and that the text with the additive is coherent because the presupposed alternative is added to the associate, so that the implicature does not concern that alternative. I show that this analysis is better than the account (...)
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  • A Hamblin Semantics for Evidentials.Sarah E. Murray - 2011 - In Ed Cormany, Satoshi Ito & David Lutz (eds.), Proceedings From Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) XIX (2009). CLC Publications. pp. 324--341.
    In this paper, I propose that the distinction between what is at-issue and what is not can be modeled as a distinction between two components of assertion. These two components affect the common ground in different ways. The at-issue component of an assertion, which is negotiable, is treated as a proposal to update the common ground. The not-at-issue component of an assertion, which is not negotiable, is added directly to the common ground. Evidence for this proposal comes from evidentials, which (...)
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  • Evidentiality and the Structure of Speech Acts.Sarah E. Murray - 2010 - Dissertation, Rutgers University
    Many languages grammatically mark evidentiality, i.e., the source of information. In assertions, evidentials indicate the source of information of the speaker while in questions they indicate the expected source of information of the addressee. This dissertation examines the semantics and pragmatics of evidentiality and illocutionary mood, set within formal theories of meaning and discourse. The empirical focus is the evidential system of Cheyenne (Algonquian: Montana), which is analyzed based on several years of fieldwork by the author.
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