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  1. The scope of alternatives: indefiniteness and islands.Simon Charlow - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (4):427-472.
    I argue that alternative-denoting expressions interact with their semantic context by taking scope. With an empirical focus on indefinites in English, I show how this approach improves on standard alternative-semantic architectures that use point-wise composition to subvert islands, as well as on in situ approaches to indefinites more generally. Unlike grammars based on point-wise composition, scope-based alternative management is thoroughly categorematic, doesn’t under-generate readings when multiple sources of alternatives occur on an island, and is compatible with standard treatments of binding. (...)
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  • Evidence for Single-Type Semantics—An Alternative To $E$/$T$-Based Dual-Type Semantics.Kristina Liefke & Markus Werning - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.
    Partee (2009) conjectures a formal semantics for natural language (hereafter, single-type semantics) that interprets CPs and referential DPs in the same semantic type: properties of situations. Partee’s semantics contrasts with Montague semantics and its recent contenders (dubbed dual- or multi-type semantics) which assume distinct basic types for the semantic values of referential DPs (i.e. individuals) and CPs (i.e. propositions, truth-values, or sets of assignment functions). Partee’s conjecture is motivated by results in event semantics and discourse representation theory, which support the (...)
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  • Two Switches in the Theory of Counterfactuals: A Study of Truth Conditionality and Minimal Change.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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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 21.Rob Truswell, Chris Cummins, Caroline Heycock, Brian Rabern & Hannah Rohde (eds.) - 2018 - Semantics Archives.
    The present volume contains a collection of papers presented at the 21st annual meeting “Sinn und Bedeutung” of the Gesellschaft fur Semantik, which was held at the University of Edinburgh on September 4th–6th, 2016. The Sinn und Bedeutung conferences are one of the leading international venues for research in formal semantics.
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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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  • What Do Quantifier Particles Do?Anna Szabolcsi - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (2):159-204.
    In many languages, the same particles that form quantifier words also serve as connectives, additive and scalar particles, question markers, roots of existential verbs, and so on. Do these have a unified semantics, or do they merely bear a family resemblance? Are they aided by silent operators in their varied roles―if yes, what operators? I dub the particles “quantifier particles” and refer to them generically with capitalized versions of the Japanese morphemes. I argue that both MO and KA can be (...)
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  • A Uniform Semantics for Declarative and Interrogative Complements.Nadine Theiler, Floris Roelofsen & Maria Aloni - 2018 - Journal of Semantics 35 (3):409-466.
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  • A Non-Realistic Approach for Natural Languages.Adonai Sant'Anna, Otávio Bueno & Newton C. A. da Costa - unknown
    The structure of natural languages is usually studied from three major different but interconnected points of view: syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. If we consider that the main purpose of natural languages is communication, we should consider another dimension for languages, which deals with the influence of internal states of communicating individuals on meanings. Such a dimension we refer to as internalism. Within this context, internalism cannot be confused with psycholinguistics, in the same way pragmatics cannot be confused with sociolinguistics. In (...)
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  • An Explanation of the Veridical Uniformity Universal.Shane Steinert-Threlkeld - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.
    A semantic universal, which we here dub the Veridical Uniformity Universal, has recently been argued to hold of responsive verbs (those that take both declarative and interrogative complements). This paper offers a preliminary explanation of this universal: verbs satisfying it are easier to learn than those that do not. This claim is supported by a computational experiment using artificial neural networks, mirroring a recent proposal for explaining semantic universals of quantifiers. This preliminary study opens up many avenues for future work (...)
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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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  • Picky Predicates: Why Believe Doesn’T Like Interrogative Complements, and Other Puzzles.Nadine Theiler, Floris Roelofsen & Maria Aloni - 2019 - Natural Language Semantics 27 (2):95-134.
    It is a long-standing puzzle why predicates like believe embed declarative but not interrogative complements and why predicates like wonder embed interrogative but not declarative complements. This paper shows how the selectional restrictions of a range of predicates can be derived from semantic assumptions that can be independently motivated.
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