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Topical Referents for Individuals and Possibilities

In R. Hastings, B. Jackson & Z. Zvolensky (eds.), Proceedings from SALT XI. CLC (2001)

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  1. Hidden Indexicals and Pronouns.Adam Sennet - 2008 - ProtoSociology 25:9.
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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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  • Semantics with Assignment Variables.Alex Silk - forthcoming - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    This book develops a syntactic and semantic framework for natural language. The principal focus is a spectrum of "shifting" phenomena in which the context relevant for interpreting certain expressions seems to depend on features of the linguistic environment. A key innovation is to introduce explicit representations of context in linguistic structure and meanings. Central applications include local and non-local contextual dependencies with quantifiers, attitude ascriptions, conditionals, questions, and relativization. The project integrates conceptual insights from contemporary philosophy of language, formal tools (...)
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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 15, Saarbruecken.Ingo Reich (ed.) - 2010 - Saarbrücken: Universitätsverlag des Saarlandes.
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  • Homogeneity, Non-Maximality, Andall.Manuel Križ - 2016 - Journal of Semantics 33 (3):493-539.
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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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  • 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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  • Uniqueness Effects in Correlatives.Adrian Brasoveanu - manuscript
    paper, abstract, revised handout, original handoutto appear in the Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 12 (Oslo, 2007). The paper argues that the variability of the uniqueness effects exhibited by Hindi and Romanian correlatives is due to their mixed referential and quantificational nature. The account involves an articulated notion of quantification, independently motivated by donkey anaphora and quantificational subordination and consisting of both (discourse) referential components and non-referential components (dynamic operators over plural info states). The variable uniqueness effects emerge out 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Ontological Symmetry in Language: A Brief Manifesto.Philippe Schlenker - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (4):504–539.
    In the tradition of quantified modal logic, it was assumed that significantly different linguistic systems underlie reference to individuals, to times and to 'possible worlds'. Various results from recent research in formal semantics suggest that this is not so, and that there is in fact a pervasive symmetry between the linguistic means with which we refer to these three domains. Reference to individuals, times and worlds is uniformly effected through generalized quantifiers, definite descriptions, and pronouns, and in each domain grammatical (...)
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  • What 'If'?William B. Starr - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14.
    No existing conditional semantics captures the dual role of 'if' in embedded interrogatives — 'X wonders if p' — and conditionals. This paper presses the importance and extent of this challenge, linking it to cross-linguistic patterns and other phenomena involving conditionals. Among these other phenomena are conditionals with multiple 'if'-clauses in the antecedent — 'if p and if q, then r' — and relevance conditionals — 'if you are hungry, there is food in the cupboard'. Both phenomena are shown to (...)
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  • Word Order and Incremental Update.Maria Bittner - 2003 - In Proceedings from CLS 39-1. CLS.
    The central claim of this paper is that surface-faithful word-by-word update is feasible and desirable, even in languages where word order is supposedly free. As a first step, in sections 1 and 2, I review an argument from Bittner 2001a that semantic composition is not a static process, as in PTQ, but rather a species of anaphoric bridging. But in that case the context-setting role of word order should extend from cross-sentential discourse anaphora to sentence-internal anaphoric composition. This can be (...)
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  • Tense, Mood, and Centering.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Natural languages exhibit a great variety of grammatical paradigms. For instance, in English verbs are grammatically marked for tense, whereas in the tenseless Eskimo-Aleut language Kalaallisut they are marked for illocutionary mood. Although time is a universal dimension of the human experience and speaking is part of that experience, some languages encode reference to time without any grammatical tense morphology, or reference to speech acts without any illocutionary mood morphology. Nevertheless, different grammatical systems are semantically parallel in certain respects. Specifically, (...)
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  • Conditionals as Attitude Reports.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Most theories of conditionals and attitudes do not analyze either phenomenon in terms of the other. A few view attitude reports as a species of conditionals (e.g. Stalnaker 1984, Heim 1992). Based on evidence from Kalaallisut, this paper argues for the opposite thesis: conditionals are a species of attitude reports. The argument builds on prior findings that conditionals are modal topic-comment structures (e.g. Haiman 1978, Bittner 2001), and that in mood-based Kalaallisut English future (e.g. Ole will win) translates into a (...)
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  • Time and Modality Without Tenses or Modals.Maria Bittner - 2011 - In Renate Musan & Monika Rathert (eds.), Tense across Languages. Niemeyer. pp. 147--188.
    In English, discourse reference to time involves grammatical tenses interpreted as temporal anaphors. Recently, it has been argued that conditionals involve modal discourse anaphora expressed by a parallel grammatical system of anaphoric modals. Based on evidence from Kalaallisut, this paper argues that temporal and modal anaphora can be just as precise in a language that does not have either grammatical category. Instead, temporal anaphora directly targets eventualities of verbs, without mediating tenses, while modal anaphora involves anaphoric moods and/or attitudinal verbs.
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  • Analyzing Anankastic Conditionals and Sufficiency Modals.Janneke Huitink - 2005 - In Sylvia Blaho, Luis Vicente & Erik Schoorlemmer (eds.), Proceedings of Console Xiii. pp. 135--156.
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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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  • A Unified Analysis of Conditionals as Topics.Christian Ebert, Cornelia Ebert & Stefan Hinterwimmer - 2014 - Linguistics and Philosophy 37 (5):353-408.
    We bring out syntactic and semantic similarities of two types of conditionals with fronted antecedents [normal indicative conditionals and biscuit conditionals ] and two types of left dislocation constructions in German, which mark two types of topicality. On the basis of these similarities we argue that NCs and BCs are aboutness topics and relevance topics, respectively. Our analysis extends the approach to aboutness topicality of Endriss to relevance topics to derive the semantic and pragmatic contribution of left-dislocated DPs and applies (...)
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  • Evidence Sensitivity in Weak Necessity Deontic Modals.Alex Silk - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):691-723.
    Kolodny and MacFarlane have made a pioneering contribution to our understanding of how the interpretation of deontic modals can be sensitive to evidence and information. But integrating the discussion of information-sensitivity into the standard Kratzerian framework for modals suggests ways of capturing the relevant data without treating deontic modals as “informational modals” in their sense. I show that though one such way of capturing the data within the standard semantics fails, an alternative does not. Nevertheless I argue that we have (...)
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  • A Semantic Solution to the Problem of Hungarian Object Agreement.Elizabeth Coppock - 2013 - Natural Language Semantics 21 (4):345-371.
    This paper offers a semantically-based solution to the problem of predicting whether a verb will display the subjective conjugation or the objective conjugation in Hungarian. This alternation correlates with the definiteness of the object, but definiteness is not a completely reliable indicator of the subjective/objective alternation, nor is specificity. A prominent view is that the subjective/objective alternation is conditioned by the syntactic category of the object, but this view has also been shown to be untenable. This paper offers a semantic (...)
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  • Ontological Symmetry in Language: A Brief Manifesto.Philippe Schlenker - 2006 - Mind Language 21 (4):504-539.
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