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Polysemy: Current perspectives and approaches

Lingua:DOI: 10.1016/j.lingua.2015.02.00 (2015)

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  1. Making Sense of the ‘is’ of Constitution.Ezequiel Zerburdis - 2021 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 361 (1).
    I consider a problem that arises in connection with cases of coincident objects and that affects the two main accounts that have been given of such cases, namely, Pluralism and Monism. The problem is that both views seem committed to accepting strained interpretations of some of the statements used to describe the situation. I consider Pickel’s arguments against the Pluralist’s strategy of interpreting ‘is’ as expressing constitution in sentences such as ‘The statue is the lump of clay’, and provide reasons (...)
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  • A Rich-Lexicon Theory of Slurs and Their Uses.Dan Zeman - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (7):942-966.
    ABSTRACT In this paper, I present data involving the use of the Romanian slur ‘țigan’, consideration of which leads to the postulation of a sui-generis, irreducible type of use of slurs. This type of use is potentially problematic for extant theories of slurs. In addition, together with other well-established uses, it shows that there is more variation in the use of slurs than previously acknowledged. I explain this variation by construing slurs as polysemous. To implement this idea, I appeal to (...)
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  • What Does ‘Legal Obligation’ Mean?Daniel Wodak - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):790-816.
    What do normative terms like “obligation” mean in legal contexts? On one view, which H.L.A. Hart may have endorsed, “obligation” is ambiguous in moral and legal contexts. On another, which is dominant in jurisprudence, “obligation” has a distinctively moralized meaning in legal contexts. On a third view, which is often endorsed in philosophy of language, “obligation” has a generic meaning in moral and legal con- texts. After making the nature of and disagreements between these views precise, I show how linguistic (...)
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  • Chomskyan Arguments Against Truth-Conditional Semantics Based on Variability and Co-predication.Agustín Vicente - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (4):919-940.
    In this paper I try to show that semantics can explain word-to-world relations and that sentences can have meanings that determine truth-conditions. Critics like Chomsky typically maintain that only speakers denote, i.e., only speakers, by using words in one way or another, represent entities or events in the world. However, according to their view, individual acts of denotations are not explained just by virtue of speakers’ semantic knowledge. Against this view, I will hold that, in the typical cases considered, semantic (...)
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  • Rational Supererogation and Epistemic Permissivism.Robert Weston Siscoe - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (2):571-591.
    A number of authors have defended permissivism by appealing to rational supererogation, the thought that some doxastic states might be rationally permissible even though there are other, more rational beliefs available. If this is correct, then there are situations that allow for multiple rational doxastic responses, even if some of those responses are rationally suboptimal. In this paper, I will argue that this is the wrong approach to defending permissivism—there are no doxastic states that are rationally supererogatory. By the lights (...)
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  • Real and Ideal Rationality.Robert Weston Siscoe - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (3):879-910.
    Formal epistemologists often claim that our credences should be representable by a probability function. Complete probabilistic coherence, however, is only possible for ideal agents, raising the question of how this requirement relates to our everyday judgments concerning rationality. One possible answer is that being rational is a contextual matter, that the standards for rationality change along with the situation. Just like who counts as tall changes depending on whether we are considering toddlers or basketball players, perhaps what counts as rational (...)
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  • No Country for Oldowan Men: Emerging Factors in Language Evolution.Elliot Murphy - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
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  • The Method of Cases’ Feet of Clay.Edouard Machery - 2022 - Analysis 82 (2):335-343.
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  • Word Senses as Clusters of Meaning Modulations: A Computational Model of Polysemy.Jiangtian Li & Marc F. Joanisse - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45 (4):e12955.
    Most words in natural languages are polysemous; that is, they have related but different meanings in different contexts. This one‐to‐many mapping of form to meaning presents a challenge to understanding how word meanings are learned, represented, and processed. Previous work has focused on solutions in which multiple static semantic representations are linked to a single word form, which fails to capture important generalizations about how polysemous words are used; in particular, the graded nature of polysemous senses, and the flexibility and (...)
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  • “Philosophers Care About the Truth”: Descriptive/Normative Generics.Olivier Lemeire - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    Some generic generalizations have both a descriptive and a normative reading. The generic sentence “Philosophers care about the truth”, for instance, can be read as describing what philosophers in fact care about, but can also be read as prescribing philosophers to care about the truth. On Leslie’s account, this generic sentence has two readings due to the polysemy of the kind term “philosopher”. In this paper, I first argue against this polysemy account of descriptive/normative generics. In response, a contextualist semantic (...)
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  • Names of Places.Katarzyna Kijania-Placek - 2021 - Semiotica 2021 (240):187-210.
    The thesis advanced in this paper is that the proper names of cities or countries inherit the linguistic types of the nouns which denote the basic category of the objects the names refer to. As a result, in the case of the proper names of cities or countries, a reference by those names may select particular aspects of those objects, in the same way that book or newspaper selects the physical or informational aspects of objects in the extension of the (...)
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  • Holismo moderado y fenómenos lingüísticos.Kênio Angelo Dantas Freitas Estrela - 2021 - Logos: Revista de Lingüística, Filosofía y Literatura 31 (2):443-454.
    El holismo semántico es una teoría que está relacionada con los significados que se atribuyen a las palabras y sus relaciones con otras palabras en una lengua. En este trabajo se propone rehabilitar el holismo semántico como una posición filosófica razonable y presentar una versión del holismo semántico desarrollada por Henry Jackman – llamada “holismo semántico moderado”. Esta teoría es capaz de explicar algunos fenómenos lingüísticos, como la vaguedad, polisemia y ambigüedad, haciendo del holismo moderado una teoría útil no sólo (...)
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  • Semantic Polysemy and Psycholinguistics.Michael Devitt - 2021 - Mind and Language 36 (1):134-157.
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  • Between Singularity and Generality: The Semantic Life of Proper Names.Laura Delgado - 2019 - Linguistics and Philosophy 42 (4):381-417.
    Although the view that sees proper names as referential singular terms is widely considered orthodoxy, there is a growing popularity to the view that proper names are predicates. This is partly because the orthodoxy faces two anomalies that Predicativism can solve: on the one hand, proper names can have multiple bearers. But multiple bearerhood is a problem to the idea that proper names have just one individual as referent. On the other hand, as Burge noted, proper names can have predicative (...)
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  • Is 'Cause' Ambiguous?Phil Corkum - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179:2945-71.
    Causal pluralists hold that that there is not just one determinate kind of causation. Some causal pluralists hold that ‘cause’ is ambiguous among these different kinds. For example, Hall (2004) argues that ‘cause’ is ambiguous between two causal relations, which he labels dependence and production. The view that ‘cause’ is ambiguous, however, wrongly predicts zeugmatic conjunction reduction, and wrongly predicts the behaviour of ellipsis in causal discourse. So ‘cause’ is not ambiguous. If we are to disentangle causal pluralism from the (...)
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  • Natural language quantification is not polysemous.John Collins - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-26.
    The paper argues that natural language quantification, as expressed by determiner phrases, is not polysemous. The foil for this claim is Hofweber, who contends that natural language quantification is polysemous between a domain reading and an inferential reading. The thesis is intended to support a more general division between externalist and internalist positions in semantics. The paper, to the contrary, argues that there is no linguistic evidence for polysemous quantification, and Hofweber’s proposal proves to be non-compositional. Further, an approach at (...)
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  • Polysemy and Word Meaning: An Account of Lexical Meaning for Different Kinds of Content Words.Agustin Vicente - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (4):947-968.
    There is an ongoing debate about the meaning of lexical words, i.e., words that contribute with content to the meaning of sentences. This debate has coincided with a renewal in the study of polysemy, which has taken place in the psycholinguistics camp mainly. There is already a fruitful interbreeding between two lines of research: the theoretical study of lexical word meaning, on the one hand, and the models of polysemy psycholinguists present, on the other. In this paper I aim at (...)
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  • Know-How as Competence. A Rylean Responsibilist Account.David Lowenstein - 2017 - Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann.
    What does it mean to know how to do something? This book develops a comprehensive account of know-how, a crucial epistemic goal for all who care about getting things right, not only with respect to the facts, but also with respect to practice. It proposes a novel interpretation of the seminal work of Gilbert Ryle, according to which know-how is a competence, a complex ability to do well in an activity in virtue of guidance by an understanding of what it (...)
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  • Ambiguity.Adam Sennet - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • The Analytic/Synthetic Distinction.Georges Rey - 2003 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University.
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  • Non-Propositional Attitudes Supervene on Disjunctive Propositional Attitude Complexes.Steven Guillemette - unknown
    Propositionalism is the widely held view that intentional attitudes are fundamentally and predicatively propositional. In contrast, objectualism is the view that a particular class of intentional attitudes—for example, love, fear, like, and hate—bears no relation to a proposition or state of affairs nor does their content make reference to objects by predicating something of them. This paper challenges the objectualist view. While I do not deny that non-propositional attitudes are real mental states, I do deny that they are metaphysically independent (...)
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  • David, Some Davids, and All Davids: Reference, Category Change, and Bearerhood of Real-Life Names.Laura Delgado - 2018 - Dissertation, Universitat de Barcelona
    This essay is devoted to the study of proper names. Although the view that sees proper names as referential singular terms is widely considered orthodoxy, there is a growing popularity to the view that proper names are predicates. This is partly because the orthodoxy faces two anomalies that Predicativism can solve: on the one hand, proper names can have multiple bearers. But multiple bearerhood is prima facie a problem to the idea that proper names have just one individual as referent. (...)
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  • The Polysemy View of Pain.Michelle Liu - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    Philosophers disagree about what the folk concept of pain is. This paper criticises existing theories of the folk concept of pain, i.e. the mental view, the bodily view, and the recently proposed polyeidic view. It puts forward an alternative proposal – the polysemy view – according to which pain terms like “sore,” “ache” and “hurt” are polysemous, where one sense refers to a mental state and another a bodily state, and the type of polysemy at issue reflects two distinct but (...)
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  • A Defense of Meaning Eliminativism: A Connectionist Approach.Tolgahan Toy - 2022 - Dissertation, Middle East Technical University
    The standard approach to model how human beings understand natural languages is the symbolic, compositional approach according to which the meaning of a complex expression is a function of the meanings of its constituents. In other words, meaning plays a fundamental role in the model. In this work, because of the polysemous, flexible, dynamic, and contextual structure of natural languages, this approach is rejected. Instead, a connectionist model which eliminates the concept of meaning is proposed.
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