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  1. Intonation and Sentence Type Conventions: Two Types of Rising Declaratives.Sunwoo Jeong - 2018 - Journal of Semantics 35 (2):305-356.
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  • Pluralism for Relativists: A New Framework for Context-Dependence.Ahmad Jabbar - 2021 - In Proceedings of the 18th workshop of the Logic and Engineering of Natural Language Semantics (LENLS). pp. 3-16.
    We propose a framework that makes space for both non-indexical contextualism and assessment-sensitivity. Such pluralism is motivated by considering possible variance in judgments about retraction. We conclude that the proposed pluralism, instead of problematizing, vindicates defining truth of a proposition w.r.t. a context of utterance and a context of assessment. To implement this formally, we formalize initialization of parameters by contexts. Then, a given parameter, depending on a speaker's judgment, can get initialized by either the context of utterance or the (...)
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  • Is There a Universal Answering Strategy for Rejecting Negative Propositions? Typological Evidence on the Use of Prosody and Gesture.Santiago González-Fuente, Susagna Tubau, M. Teresa Espinal & Pilar Prieto - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  • Uncertainty and Persistence: A Bayesian Update Semantics for Probabilistic Expressions.Deniz Rudin - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (3):365-405.
    This paper presents a general-purpose update semantics for expressions of subjective uncertainty in natural language. First, a set of desiderata are established for how expressions of subjective uncertainty should behave in dynamic, update-based semantic systems; then extant implementations of expressions of subjective uncertainty in such models are evaluated and found wanting; finally, a new update semantics is proposed. The desiderata at the heart of this paper center around the contention that expressions of subjective uncertainty express beliefs which are not persistent, (...)
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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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  • The structure of communicative acts.Sarah E. Murray & William B. Starr - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (2):425-474.
    Utterances of natural language sentences can be used to communicate not just contents, but also forces. This paper examines this topic from a cross-linguistic perspective on sentential mood. Recent work in this area focuses on conversational dynamics: the three sentence types can be associated with distinctive kinds of conversational effects called sentential forces, modeled as three kinds of updates to the discourse context. This paper has two main goals. First, it provides two arguments, on empirical and methodological grounds, for treating (...)
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  • Denn as a highlighting-sensitive particle.Nadine Theiler - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (2):323-362.
    This paper develops an account of the German discourse particle denn that captures the meaning contribution of this particle in polar questions, wh-questions, and certain conditional antecedents in a unified way. It is shown that the behavior of denn exhibits an asymmetry between polar and wh-interrogatives, which can be captured by treating the particle as sensitive to the property highlighted by its containing clause, in the sense of Roelofsen and Farkas :359–414, 2015). In addition, the paper argues that highlighting-sensitivity should (...)
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  • Responding to Alternative and Polar Questions.María Biezma & Kyle Rawlins - 2012 - Linguistics and Philosophy 35 (5):361-406.
    This paper gives an account of the differences between polar and alternative questions, as well as an account of the division of labor between compositional semantics and pragmatics in interpreting these types of questions. Alternative questions involve a strong exhaustivity presupposition for the mentioned alternatives. We derive this compositionally from the meaning of the final falling tone and its interaction with the pragmatics of questioning in discourse. Alternative questions are exhaustive in two ways: they exhaust the space of epistemic possibilities, (...)
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  • Why We Need a Question Semantics.Ivano Ciardelli - 2021 - In Moritz Cordes (ed.), Asking and Answering: Rivalling Approaches to Interrogative Methods. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto. pp. 15–47.
    In this paper I discuss the role that question contents should play in an overall account of language, thought, and communication. Based on these considerations, I argue against the Fregean view that analyzes questions as distinguished only at the level of force. Questions, I argue, are associated with specific semantic objects, which play a distinctive role in thought and in compositional semantics, stand in logical relations to one another, and can act as contents of multiple speech acts. In the second (...)
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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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  • Open Questions and Epistemic Necessity.Brett Sherman - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (273):819-840.
    Why can I not appropriately utter ‘It must be raining’ while standing outside in the rain, even though every world consistent with my knowledge is one in which it is raining? The common response to this problem is to hold that epistemic must, in addition to quantifying over epistemic possibilities, carries some additional evidential information concerning the source of one'S evidence. I argue that this is a mistake: epistemic modals are mere quantifiers over epistemic possibilities. My central claim is that (...)
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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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  • The Disagreement Challenge to Contextualism.Justin Khoo - forthcoming - In Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism.
    I articulate the challenge disagreement poses for epistemic contextualism, and then discuss several possible replies on behalf of the contextualist.
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  • Disambiguation in Conversation: The Case of Disambiguating Parentheticals.Stefano Predelli - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13569-13582.
    This essay presents an analysis of the conversational role of disambiguation, with special attention to disambiguating parentheticals such as 'bats, the furry animals, are not easy to find'. The essay proposes an enriched representation of conversational states as pairs of an interpretation function and standard common belief, it represents disambiguations within the ensuing framework, and, on the basis of these conceptual tools, it proposes a systematic picture of the updates achieved by disambiguating parentheticas.
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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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  • The Contribution of Gestures to the Semantics of Non-Canonical Questions.Michela Ippolito - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.
    The symbolic gesture MAT used by native speakers of Italian characterizes non-canonical wh questions when used both as a co-speech and pro-speech gesture. MAT can be executed with either a fast tempo contour or a slow tempo contour. Tempo is semantically significant: descriptively, a fast tempo characterizes a biased but information-seeking non-canonical question; a slow tempo characterizes a rhetorical non-canonical question. I argue that the fast contour is the default tempo of MAT and that it brings about a biased interpretation. (...)
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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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  • Modelling Questions in Commitment Spaces.Manfred Krifka - 2021 - In Moritz Cordes (ed.), Asking and Answering: Rivalling Approaches to Interrogative Methods. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto. pp. 63–95.
    The paper outlines the analysis of certain question types in the Commitment Space framework, as presented in Krifka (2015). The two basic ideas are: Assertions and most questions involve commitments of speaker and addressee to the truth of a proposition, and questions consist in restricting the continuation of the conversation to answers to the question. The main focus is on breadth, not depth and the detailed comparison with alternative approaches, and on semantic modelling, not on the syntactic and prosodic realizations. (...)
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  • Three Ways to Avoid Commitments: Declarative Force Modifiers in the Conversational Scoreboard.S. A. Malamud & T. Stephenson - 2015 - Journal of Semantics 32 (2):275-311.
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  • Response Particles as Propositional Anaphors.Manfred Krifka - 2013 - Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory 23:1-18..
    The paper explains response particles like yes and no as anaphoric elements that pick up propositional discourse referents that are introduced by preceding sentences. It is argued that negated antecedent clauses introduce two propositional discourse referents, which results in ambiguities of answers that are partly resolved by pragmatic optimization. The paper also discusses response particles like okay, right, uh-huh, uh-uh, and German ja, nein and doch.
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  • Inquisitive Dynamic Epistemic Logic.Ivano A. Ciardelli & Floris Roelofsen - 2015 - Synthese 192 (6):1643-1687.
    Information exchange can be seen as a dynamic process of raising and resolving issues. The goal of this paper is to provide a logical framework to model and reason about this process. We develop an inquisitive dynamic epistemic logic , which enriches the standard framework of dynamic epistemic logic , incorporating insights from recent work on inquisitive semantics. At a static level, IDEL does not only allow us to model the information available to a set of agents, like standard epistemic (...)
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  • Expectation Biases and Context Management with Negative Polar Questions.Alex Silk - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 49 (1):51-92.
    This paper examines distinctive discourse properties of preposed negative 'yes/no' questions (NPQs), such as 'Isn’t Jane coming too?'. Unlike with other 'yes/no' questions, using an NPQ '∼p?' invariably conveys a bias toward a particular answer, where the polarity of the bias is opposite of the polarity of the question: using the negative question '∼p?' invariably expresses that the speaker previously expected the positive answer p to be correct. A prominent approach—what I call the context-management approach, developed most extensively by Romero (...)
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  • Outlook-Based Semantics.Elizabeth Coppock - 2018 - Linguistics and Philosophy 41 (2):125-164.
    This paper presents and advocates an approach to the semantics of opinion statements, including matters of personal taste and moral claims. In this framework, ‘outlook-based semantics’, the circumstances of evaluation are not composed of a possible world and a judge ; rather, outlooks replace possible worlds in the role of circumstance of evaluation. Outlooks are refinements of worlds that settle not only matters of fact but also matters of opinion. Several virtues of the framework and advantages over existing implementations of (...)
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  • Slurs and Expressive Commitments.Leopold Hess - 2020 - Acta Analytica 36 (2):263-290.
    Most accounts of the derogatory meaning of slurs are semantic. Recently, Nunberg proposed a purely pragmatic account offering a compelling picture of the relation between derogatory content and social context. Nunberg posits that the semantic content of slurs is identical to that of neutral counterparts, and that derogation is a result of the association of slur use with linguistic conventions of bigoted speakers. The mechanism responsible for it is a special kind of conversational implicature. However, this paper argues that Nunberg’s (...)
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  • Mandarin wh-conditionals: A dynamic question approach.Haoze Li - 2021 - Natural Language Semantics 29 (3):401-451.
    Mandarin has a special construction widely known as a ‘wh-conditional’, in which both the antecedent clause and the consequent clause are wh-clauses. Wh-conditionals are of interest to linguists because the wh-expressions in a wh-conditional must co-refer. How to make sense of the fusion of a conditional and two wh-clauses, as well as the nature of the co-reference relation, have been long-standing issues. Two competing approaches have been advanced to shed light on wh-conditionals: the indefinite approach :121–163, 1996; Chierchia in J. (...)
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  • French Polar Response Particles and Neg Movement.Jérémy Pasquereau - 2020 - Natural Language Semantics 28 (4):255-306.
    I present new data from European French involving embedded polar response particles in response to negative questions and develop a novel proposal which integrates the insights of previous analyses :359–414, 2015). The main puzzle has to do with the interpretation of non ‘no’, which may assert its antecedent or the negation of its antecedent. It is shown that the meaning of non-responses varies as a function of the scope of negation with respect to various operators in its antecedent. Polar response (...)
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  • Lying with Presuppositions.Emanuel Viebahn - 2019 - Noûs 54 (3):731-751.
    It is widely held that all lies are assertions: the traditional definition of lying entails that, in order to lie, speakers have to assert something they believe to be false. It is also widely held that assertion contrasts with presupposition and, in particular, that one cannot assert something by presupposing it. Together, these views imply that speakers cannot lie with presuppositions—a view that Andreas Stokke has recently explicitly defended. The aim of this paper is to argue that speakers can lie (...)
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  • Commitment and states of mind with mood and modality.Alex Silk - 2018 - Natural Language Semantics 26 (2):125-166.
    This paper develops an account of mood selection with attitude predicates in French. I start by examining the “contextual commitment” account of mood developed by Portner and Rubinstein Proceedings of SALT 22, CLC Publications, Ithaca, NY, pp 461–487, 2012). A key innovation of Portner and Rubinstein’s account is to treat mood selection as fundamentally depending on a relation between individuals’ attitudes and the predicate’s modal backgrounds. I raise challenges for P&R’s qualitative analysis of contextual commitment and explanations of mood selection. (...)
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  • Generalized Update Semantics.Simon Goldstein - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):795-835.
    This paper explores the relationship between dynamic and truth conditional semantics for epistemic modals. It provides a generalization of a standard dynamic update semantics for modals. This new semantics derives a Kripke semantics for modals and a standard dynamic semantics for modals as special cases. The semantics allows for new characterizations of a variety of principles in modal logic, including the inconsistency of ‘p and might not p’. Finally, the semantics provides a construction procedure for transforming any truth conditional semantics (...)
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  • On Unidirectionality in Precisification.Peter Klecha - 2018 - Linguistics and Philosophy 41 (1):87-124.
    This paper provides a formal pragmatic analysis of precision which accounts for its essential properties, but also for Lewis’s :339–359, 1979) observation of asymmetry in how standards of precision may shift due to normal discourse moves: Only up, not down. I propose that shifts of the kind observed and discussed by Lewis are in fact cases of underlying disagreement about the standard of precision, which is only revealed when one interlocutor uses an expression which signals their adherence to a higher (...)
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  • Focus and Uninformativity in Yucatec Maya Questions.Scott AnderBois - 2012 - Natural Language Semantics 20 (4):349-390.
    Crosslinguistically, questions frequently make crucial use of morphosyntactic elements which also occur outside of questions. Chief among these are focus, disjunctions, and wh-words with indefinite semantics. This paper provides a compositional account of the semantics of wh-, alternative, and polar questions in Yucatec Maya (YM), which are composed primarily of these elements. Key to the account is a theory of disjunctions and indefinites (extending work by others) which recognizes the inherently inquisitive nature of these elements. While disjunctions and indefinites are (...)
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  • The Semantics of Emotive Markers and Other Illocutionary Content.Jessica Rett - 2021 - Journal of Semantics 38 (2):305-340.
    I identify a class of expressions called ‘emotive markers,’ exemplified by fortunately and alas, which encode not-at-issue information about the speaker’s emotive attitude towards the content of the utterances they occur in. I argue that there are important differences emotive markers and other encoders of not-at-issue content, in particular utterance modifiers like frankly or evidential adverbs like apparently. In contrast to these, emotive markers can result in Moore’s Paradox and always range over their local argument. I conclude that the contribution (...)
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  • Doing Contrariness: Therapeutic Talk-In-Interaction in a Single Therapy Session With a Traumatized Child.Michael B. Buchholz, Timo Buchholz & Barbara Wülfing - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    Conversation analysis of children-adult—interaction in various contexts has become an established field of research. However, child therapy has received limited attention in CA. In child therapy, the general psychotherapeutic practice of achieving empathy faces particular challenges. In relation to this, our contribution sets out three issues for investigation and analysis: the first one is that practices of achieving empathy must be preceded by efforts aiming to establish which kind of individualized conversation works with this child. Psychotherapy process researchers in adult (...)
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  • Channels for Common Ground.Eric Swanson - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • The Semantics of Evidentials in Questions.Diti Bhadra - 2020 - Journal of Semantics 37 (3):367-423.
    This paper presents a novel cross-linguistic exploration of the phenomenon of Interrogative Flip at the semantics-pragmatics interfaces. Most previous studies describe an obligatory shift in the anchor of an evidential from the speaker to the addressee in interrogatives, across a diverse set of languages. In this work, we discuss a lesser-studied set of facts, which show that in many languages this shift does not take place. Modeling the contribution of evidentials with ‘judge’-sensitivity in the semantics and with newly refined notions (...)
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  • Evidentiality, Learning Events and Spatiotemporal Distance: The View From Bulgarian.Todor Koev - 2016 - Journal of Semantics:ffv014.
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  • Experimental Evidence for the Truth Conditional Contribution and Shifting Information Status of Appositives.Kristen Syrett & Todor Koev - 2015 - Journal of Semantics 32 (3):525-577.
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  • Lying and Fiction.Emar Maier - 2018 - In Jörg Meibauer (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Lying. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 303-314.
    Lying and fiction both involve the deliberate production of statements that fail to obey Grice’s first Maxim of Quality (“do not say what you believe to be false”). The question thus arises if we can provide a uniform analysis for fiction and lies. In this chapter I discuss the similarities, but also some fundamental differences between lying and fiction. I argue that there’s little hope for a satisfying account within a traditional truth conditional semantic framework. Rather than immediately moving to (...)
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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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  • Assertions of Clarity & Raising Awareness.Phil Crone - 2019 - Journal of Semantics 36 (1):53-97.
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  • Totally Between Subjectivity and Discourse. Exploring the Pragmatic Side of Intensification.Andrea Beltrama - 2018 - Journal of Semantics 35 (2):219-261.
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  • Illocutionary Revelations: Yucatec Maya Bakáan and the Typology of Miratives.Scott AnderBois - 2018 - Journal of Semantics 35 (1):171-206.
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  • At-Issue Proposals and Appositive Impositions in Discourse.Scott Anderbois, Adrian Brasoveanu & Robert Henderson - 2015 - Journal of Semantics 32 (1):fft014.
    Potts (2005) and many subsequent works have argued that the semantic content of appositive (non-restrictive) relative clauses, e.g., the underlined material in John, who nearly killed a woman with his car, visited her in the hospital, must be in some way separate from the content of the rest of the sentence, i.e., from at-issue content. At the same time, there is mounting evidence from various anaphoric processes that the two kinds of content must be integrated into a single, incrementally evolving (...)
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