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  1. An Object‐Based Truthmaker Semantics for Modals.Friederike Moltmann - 2018 - Philosophical Issues 28 (1):255-288.
    Possible worlds semantics faces a range of difficulties for at least certain types of modals, especially deontic modals with their distinction between heavy and light permissions and obligations. This paper outlines a new semantics of modals that aims to overcome some of those difficulties. The semantics is based on an a novel ontology of modal objects, entities like obligations, permissions, needs, as well as epistemic states, abilities, and essences. Moreover, it is based on truthmaking, in the sense of Fine’s recent (...)
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  • Division of Labor in the Interpretation of Declaratives and Interrogatives.Donka F. Farkas & Floris Roelofsen - 2017 - Journal of Semantics:ffw012.
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  • Generalized Free Choice and Missing Alternatives.Marie-Christine Meyer - 2015 - Journal of Semantics:ffv010.
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  • The Counterfactual Direct Argument.Simon Goldstein - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-40.
    Many have accepted that ordinary counterfactuals and might counterfactuals are duals. In this paper, I show that this thesis leads to paradoxical results when combined with a few different unorthodox yet increasingly popular theses, including the thesis that counterfactuals are strict conditionals. Given Duality and several other theses, we can quickly infer the validity of another paradoxical principle, ‘The Counterfactual Direct Argument’, which says that ‘A> ’ entails ‘A> ’. First, I provide a collapse theorem for the ‘counterfactual direct argument’. (...)
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  • ‘Ought’ and Resolution Semantics.Fabrizio Cariani - 2013 - Noûs 47 (3):534-558.
    I motivate and characterize an intensional semantics for ‘ought’ on which it does not behave as a universal quantifier over possibilities. My motivational argument centers on taking at face value some standard challenges to the quantificational semantics, especially to the idea that ‘ought’-sentences satisfy the principle of Inheritance. I argue that standard pragmatic approaches to these puzzles are either not sufficiently detailed or unconvincing.
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  • Choice Points for a Modal Theory of Disjunction.Fabrizio Cariani - 2017 - Topoi 36 (1):171-181.
    This paper investigates the prospects for a semantic theory that treats disjunction as a modal operator. Potential motivation for such a theory comes from the way in which modals embed within disjunctions. After reviewing some of the relevant data, I go on to distinguish a variety of modal theories of disjunction. I analyze these theories by considering pairs of conflicting desiderata, highlighting some of the tradeoffs they must face.
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  • A Preference Semantics for Imperatives.William B. Starr - manuscript
    Imperative sentences like Dance! do not seem to represent the world. Recent modal analyses challenge this idea, but its intuitive and historical appeal remain strong. This paper presents three new challenges for a non-representational analysis, showing that the obstacles facing it are even steeper than previously appreciated. I will argue that the only way for the non-representationalist to meet these three challenges is to adopt a dynamic semantics. Such a dynamic semantics is proposed here: imperatives introduce preferences between alternatives. This (...)
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  • Dynamic Expressivism About Deontic Modality.William B. Starr - 2016 - In Nate Charlow Matthew Chrisman (ed.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press. pp. 355-394.
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  • Expressing Permission.William B. Starr - 2016 - Semantics and Linguistic Theory 26:325-349.
    This paper proposes a semantics for free choice permission that explains both the non-classical behavior of modals and disjunction in sentences used to grant permission, and their classical behavior under negation. It also explains why permissions can expire when new information comes in and why free choice arises even when modals scope under disjunction. On the proposed approach, deontic modals update preference orderings, and connectives operate on these updates rather than propositions. The success of this approach stems from its capacity (...)
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  • Clause-Type, Force, and Normative Judgment in the Semantics of Imperatives.Nate Charlow - forthcoming - In Daniel Fogal Daniel Harris & Matt Moss (eds.), New Work on Speech Acts. Oxford University Press.
    I argue that imperatives express contents that are both cognitively and semantically related to, but nevertheless distinct from, modal propositions. Imperatives, on this analysis, semantically encode features of planning that are modally specified. Uttering an imperative amounts to tokening this feature in discourse, and thereby proffering it for adoption by the audience. This analysis deals smoothly with the problems afflicting Portner's Dynamic Pragmatic account and Kaufmann's Modal account. It also suggests an appealing reorientation of clause-type theorizing, in which the cognitive (...)
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  • Two Switches in the Theory of Counterfactuals.Ivano Ciardelli, Linmin Zhang & Lucas Champollion - 2018 - Linguistics and Philosophy (6).
    Based on a crowdsourced truth value judgment experiment, we provide empirical evidence challenging two classical views in semantics, and we develop a novel account of counterfactuals that combines ideas from inquisitive semantics and causal reasoning. First, we show that two truth-conditionally equivalent clauses can make different semantic contributions when embedded in a counterfactual antecedent. Assuming compositionality, this means that the meaning of these clauses is not fully determined by their truth conditions. This finding has a clear explanation in inquisitive semantics: (...)
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  • Updating Data Semantics.Anthony S. Gillies - forthcoming - Mind:fzy008.
    This paper has three main goals. First, to motivate a puzzle about how ignorance-expressing language like \expression{maybe} and \expression{if} interact: they (surprisingly) iterate and when they do they exhibit scopelessness. Second, to argue that there is an ambiguity in our theoretical toolbox and that resolving that opens the door to a solution to the puzzle. And third, to explore the reach of that solution (it turns out to do work in unexpected places). Along the way, the paper highlights a number (...)
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  • Projecting Possibilities in the Nominal Domain: Spanish Uno Cualquiera.Luis Alonso-Ovalle & Paula Menéndez-Benito - 2018 - Journal of Semantics 35 (1):1-41.
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  • Perspectival Plurality, Relativism, and Multiple Indexing.Dan Zeman - 2018 - In Rob Truswell, Chris Cummins, Caroline Heycock, Brian Rabern & Hannah Rohde (eds.), Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21, Vol. 2. Semantics Archives. pp. 1353-1370.
    In this paper I focus on a recently discussed phenomenon illustrated by sentences containing predicates of taste: the phenomenon of " perspectival plurality " , whereby sentences containing two or more predicates of taste have readings according to which each predicate pertains to a different perspective. This phenomenon has been shown to be problematic for (at least certain versions of) relativism. My main aim is to further the discussion by showing that the phenomenon extends to other perspectival expressions than predicates (...)
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  • The Problem with the Frege–Geach Problem.Nate Charlow - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (3):635-665.
    I resolve the major challenge to an Expressivist theory of the meaning of normative discourse: the Frege–Geach Problem. Drawing on considerations from the semantics of directive language (e.g., imperatives), I argue that, although certain forms of Expressivism (like Gibbard’s) do run into at least one version of the Problem, it is reasonably clear that there is a version of Expressivism that does not.
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  • Assessing the Role of Experimental Evidence for Interface Judgment: Licensing of Negative Polarity Items, Scalar Readings, and Focus.Anastasia Giannakidou & Urtzi Etxeberria - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • Indefinites in Comparatives.Maria Aloni & Floris Roelofsen - 2014 - Natural Language Semantics 22 (2):145-167.
    The goal of this paper is to explain the meaning and distribution of indefinites in comparatives, focusing on English some and any and German irgend-indefinites. We consider three competing theories of comparatives in combination with an alternative semantics of some and any, and a novel account of stressed irgend-indefinites. One of the resulting accounts, based on Heim’s analysis of comparatives, predicts all the relevant differences in quantificational force, and explains why free choice indefinites are licensed in comparatives.
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  • The Significance of Behaviour-Related Criteria for Textual Exegesis—and Their Neglect in Indian Studies.Claus Oetke - 2013 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 41 (4):359-437.
    Against the background of the fact that speakers not seldom intend to convey imports which deviate from the linguistically expressed meanings of linguistic items, the present article addresses some consequences of this phenomenon which appear to still be neglected in textual studies. It is suggested that understanding behaviour is in some respect a primary objective of exegesis and that due attention must be attributed to the high diversity of behaviour-related criteria by which interpretations of linguistic items are to be evaluated. (...)
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  • Algebraic Foundations for the Semantic Treatment of Inquisitive Content.Floris Roelofsen - 2013 - Synthese 190 (S1):1-24.
    In classical logic, the proposition expressed by a sentence is construed as a set of possible worlds, capturing the informative content of the sentence. However, sentences in natural language are not only used to provide information, but also to request information. Thus, natural language semantics requires a logical framework whose notion of meaning does not only embody informative content, but also inquisitive content. This paper develops the algebraic foundations for such a framework. We argue that propositions, in order to embody (...)
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  • Hurford’s Constraint, the Semantics of Disjunction, and the Nature of Alternatives.Ivano Ciardelli & Floris Roelofsen - 2017 - Natural Language Semantics 25 (3):199-222.
    This paper contributes to two recent lines of work on disjunction: on the one hand, work on so-called Hurford disjunctions, i.e., disjunctions where one disjunct entails another, and on the other hand, work in alternative and inquisitive semantics where disjunction has been argued to generate multiple propositional alternatives. We point out that Hurford effects are found not only in disjunctive statements, but also in disjunctive questions. These cases are not covered by the standard accounts of Hurford phenomena, which assume a (...)
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  • Composing Alternatives.Ivano Ciardelli, Floris Roelofsen & Nadine Theiler - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (1):1-36.
    There is a prominent line of work in natural language semantics, rooted in the work of Hamblin, in which the meaning of a sentence is not taken to be a single proposition, but rather a set of propositions—a set of alternatives. This allows for a more fine-grained view on meaning, which has led to improved analyses of a wide range of linguistic phenomena. However, this approach also faces a number of problems. We focus here on two of these, in our (...)
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  • VI-BayesianExpressivism.Seth Yalcin - 2012 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 112 (2pt2):123-160.
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  • Rationalization and the Ross Paradox.Benj Hellie - 2016 - In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press. pp. 283--323.
    'Post this letter!' does not entail 'Post this letter or drink up my wine!' (the Ross Paradox) because one can be in a state with the content of the former without being in a state with the content of the latter; in turn, because the latter can rationalize drinking up my wine but the former cannot; in turn, because practical rationalization flows toward one's present situation, in contrast with the flow of theoretical rationalization from one's present situation. Formally, this is (...)
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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 9.Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.) - 2005 - Nijmegen Centre for Semantics.
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  • Presuppositional TOO, Postsuppositional TOO.Adrian Brasoveanu & Anna Szabolcsi - 2013 - The Dynamic, Inquisitive, and Visionary Life of Φ, ?Φ, and ◊Φ Subtitle: A Festschrift for Jeroen Groenendijk, Martin Stokhof, and Frank Veltman.
    One of the insights of dynamic semantics in its various guises (Kamp 1981, Heim 1982, Groenendijk & Stokhof 1991, Kamp & Reyle 1993 among many others) is that interpretation is sensitive to left-to-right order. Is order sensitivity, particularly the default left-to-right order of evaluation, a property of particular meanings of certain lexical items (e.g., dynamically interpreted conjunction) or is it a more general feature of meaning composition? If it is a more general feature of meaning composition, is it a processing (...)
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  • Logic and Semantics for Imperatives.Nate Charlow - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):617-664.
    In this paper I will develop a view about the semantics of imperatives, which I term Modal Noncognitivism, on which imperatives might be said to have truth conditions (dispositionally, anyway), but on which it does not make sense to see them as expressing propositions (hence does not make sense to ascribe to them truth or falsity). This view stands against “Cognitivist” accounts of the semantics of imperatives, on which imperatives are claimed to express propositions, which are then enlisted in explanations (...)
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  • On Universal Free Choice Items.Paula Menéndez-Benito - 2010 - Natural Language Semantics 18 (1):33-64.
    This paper deals with the interpretation and distribution of universal Free Choice (FC) items, such as English FC any or Spanish cualquiera. Crosslinguistically, universal FC items can be characterized as follows. First, they have a restricted distribution. Second, they express freedom of choice: the sentence You can take any card conveys the information that the addressee is free to pick whichever card she chooses. Under standard assumptions, the truth conditions of sentences like You can take any card are taken to (...)
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  • The Meaning of Imperatives.Nate Charlow - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (8):540-555.
    This article surveys a range of current views on the semantics of imperatives, presenting them as more or less conservative with respect to the Truth-Conditional Paradigm in semantics. It describes and critiques views at either extreme of this spectrum: accounts on which the meaning of an imperative is a modal truth-condition, as well as various accounts that attempt to explain imperative meaning without making use of truth-conditions. It briefly describes and encourages further work on a family of views lying somewhere (...)
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  • Free Choice is a Form of Dependence.Magdalena Kaufmann - 2016 - Natural Language Semantics 24 (3):247-290.
    This paper refutes the widespread view that disjunctions of imperatives invariably grant free choice between the actions named by their disjuncts. Like other disjunctions they can also express a correlation with some factual distinction, but as with modalized declaratives used for non-assertive speech acts this needs to be indicated explicitly. A compositional analysis of one such indicator, depending on, constitutes the point of departure for a uniform analysis of disjunctions across clause types. Disjunctions are analyzed as sets of propositional alternatives (...)
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  • On the Semantics and Logic of Declaratives and Interrogatives.Ivano Ciardelli, Jeroen Groenendijk & Floris Roelofsen - 2015 - Synthese 192 (6):1689-1728.
    In many natural languages, there are clear syntactic and/or intonational differences between declarative sentences, which are primarily used to provide information, and interrogative sentences, which are primarily used to request information. Most logical frameworks restrict their attention to the former. Those that are concerned with both usually assume a logical language that makes a clear syntactic distinction between declaratives and interrogatives, and usually assign different types of semantic values to these two types of sentences. A different approach has been taken (...)
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  • Non-Monotonicity in NPI Licensing.Luka Crnič - 2014 - Natural Language Semantics 22 (2):169-217.
    The distribution of the focus particle even is constrained: if it is adjoined at surface structure to an expression that is entailed by its focus alternatives, as in even once, it must be appropriately embedded to be acceptable. This paper focuses on the context-dependent distribution of such occurrences of even in the scope of non-monotone quantifiers. We show that it is explained on the assumption that even can move at LF Syntax and semantics, 1979). The analysis is subsequently extended to (...)
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  • Free Choice Permission and the Counterfactuals of Pragmatics.Melissa Fusco - 2014 - Linguistics and Philosophy 37 (4):275-290.
    This paper addresses a little puzzle with a surprisingly long pedigree and a surprisingly large wake: the puzzle of Free Choice Permission. I begin by presenting a popular sketch of a pragmatic solution to the puzzle, due to Kratzer and Shimoyama, which has received a good deal of discussion, endorsement and elaboration in recent work :535–590, 2006; Fox, in: Sauerland and Stateva Presupposition and implicature in compositional semantics, 2007; Geurts, Mind Lang 24:51–79, 2009; von Fintel, Central APA session on Deontic (...)
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  • Simplifying with Free Choice.Malte Willer - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):379-392.
    This paper offers a unified semantic explanation of two observations that prove to be problematic for classical analyses of modals, conditionals, and disjunctions: the fact that disjunctions scoping under possibility modals give rise to the free choice effect and the fact that counterfactuals license simplification of disjunctive antecedents. It shows that the data are well explained by a dynamic semantic analysis of modals and conditionals that uses ideas from the inquisitive semantic tradition in its treatment of disjunction. The analysis explains (...)
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  • Compliance and Command I—Categorical Imperatives.Kit Fine - 2018 - Review of Symbolic Logic 11 (4):609-633.
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  • Compliance and Command II, Imperatives and Deontics.Kit Fine - 2018 - Review of Symbolic Logic 11 (4):634-664.
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  • Weak Negation in Inquisitive Semantics.Vít Punčochář - 2015 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 24 (3):323-355.
    This paper introduces and explores a conservative extension of inquisitive logic. In particular, weak negation is added to the standard propositional language of inquisitive semantics, and it is shown that, although we lose some general semantic properties of the original framework, such an enrichment enables us to model some previously inexpressible speech acts such as weak denial and ‘might’-assertions. As a result, a new modal logic emerges. For this logic, a Fitch-style system of natural deduction is formulated. The main result (...)
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  • Free Choice of Alternatives.Anamaria Fălăuş - 2014 - Linguistics and Philosophy 37 (2):121-173.
    This paper contributes to the semantic typology of dependent indefinites, by accounting for the distribution and interpretation of the Romanian indefinite vreun. It is shown that its occurrences are restricted to negative polarity and a subset of modal contexts. More specifically, the study of its behavior in intensional environments reveals that vreun is systematically incompatible with non-epistemic operators, a restriction we capture by proposing a novel empirical generalization (‘the epistemic constraint’). To account for the observed pattern, we adopt the unitary (...)
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