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Mind 118 (471):583 - 646 (2009)

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  1. Semantics and Metasemantics in the Context of Generative Grammar.Seth Yalcin - 2014 - In Alexis Burgess & Brett Sherman (eds.), Metasemantics: New Essays on the Foundations of Meaning. Oxford University Press. pp. 17-54.
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  • Chomsky, London and Lewis.D. Stoljar - 2015 - Analysis 75 (1):16-22.
    This article suggests that Chomsky’s notorious ‘London’ argument against semantics looks much more plausible that it is usually interpreted as being when seen in the light of something apparently remote from its concerns, viz., David Lewis’s distinction between natural and non-natural properties.
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  • Things Mere Mortals Can Do, but Philosophers Can’T.Stephanie Rennick - 2015 - Analysis 75 (1):22-26.
    David Lewis famously argued that the time traveller ‘can’ murder her grandfather, even though she never will: it is compossible with a particular set of facts including her motive, opportunity and skill . I argue that while ordinary agents ‘can’ under Lewis’s conception, philosophers cannot – the latter will not only fail to fulfill their homicidal intentions but also fail to form them in the first place.
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  • Chomskyan Arguments Against Truth-Conditional Semantics Based on Variability and Co-Predication.Agustín Vicente - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    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 (since, according to them, semantic knowledge is very scarce: see Pietroski, 2018). Against (...)
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  • The Semantics and Ontology of The Average American.Collins John - 2017 - Journal of Semantics 34 (3):373-405.
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  • Grammar, Ontology, and the Unity of Meaning.Ulrich Reichard - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Durham
    Words have meaning. Sentences also have meaning, but their meaning is different in kind from any collection of the meanings of the words they contain. I discuss two puzzles related to this difference. The first is how the meanings of the parts of a sentence combine to give rise to a unified sentential meaning, as opposed to a mere collection of disparate meanings (UP1). The second is why the formal ontology of linguistic meaning changes when grammatical structure is built up (...)
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  • Generic Comparisons.Bernhard Nickel - 2010 - Journal of Semantics 27 (2):207-242.
    This article discusses comparative generic sentences As are F-er than Bs—girls do better than boys in grade school, for example—which pose severe problems for extant accounts. In their stead, the article proposes reconceiving the logical form (LF) of generic sentences as more closely akin to that of sentences containing non-generic plurals, paradigmatically plural definite descriptions. Given this one crucial change, several otherwise puzzling features of comparative generics are immediately explicable, including their relatively weak truth conditions and some of the logical (...)
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  • Truth Incorporated.Gurpreet Rattan - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):227-258.
    What is the cognitive value of the concept of truth? What epistemic difference does the concept of truth make to those who grasp it? This paper employs a new perspective for thinking about the concept of truth and recent debates concerning it, organized around the question of the cognitive value of the concept of truth. The paper aims to defend a substantively correct and dialectically optimal account of the cognitive value of the concept of truth. This perspective is employed in (...)
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  • Genericity as a Unitary Psychological Phenomenon: An Argument From Linguistic Diversity.John Collins - 2015 - Ratio 28 (4):369-394.
    So-called ‘generics’ are members of a diverse class of constructions that express generalisations that do not directly involve any precise cardinality of individuals, but rather the kinds or ‘typical’ or ‘normal’ members of the kinds contributed by arguments of the predicate. The paper argues that genericity as a unitary phenomenon of human thought has a psychological, rather than linguistic, basis. This claim is argued for by way of a survey of the linguistic diversity of the forms of genericity, and the (...)
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  • Scopability and Sluicing.Chris Barker - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (3):187-223.
    This paper analyzes sluicing as anaphora to an anti-constituent (a continuation), that is, to the semantic remnant of a clause from which a subconstituent has been removed. For instance, in Mary said that [John saw someone yesterday], but she didn’t say who, the antecedent clause is John saw someone yesterday, the subconstituent targeted for removal is someone, and the ellipsis site following who is anaphoric to the scope remnant John saw ___ yesterday. I provide a compositional syntax and semantics on (...)
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  • Split-Scope Definites: Relative Superlatives and Haddock Descriptions.Dylan Bumford - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (6):549-593.
    This paper argues for a particular semantic decomposition of morphological definiteness. I propose that the meaning of ‘the’ comprises two distinct compositional operations. The first builds a set of witnesses that satisfy the restricting noun phrase. The second tests this set for uniqueness. The motivation for decomposing the denotation of the definite determiner in this way comes from split-scope intervention effects. The two components—the selection of witnesses on the one hand and the counting of witnesses on the other—may take effect (...)
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  • Understanding as Knowledge of Meaning.Alex Barber - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (10):964-977.
    Testimony, the transmission of knowledge through communication, requires a shared understanding of linguistic expressions and utterances of them. Is this understanding itself a kind of knowledge, knowledge of meaning? The intuitive answer is ‘yes’, but the nature of such knowledge is controversial, as is the assumption that understanding is a kind of knowledge at all. This article is a critical examination of recent work on the nature and role of semantic knowledge in the generation of the linguistic understanding needed for (...)
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  • Wither Semantics!1.Jeffrey C. King - 2018 - Noûs 52 (4):772-795.
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  • Sortal, Relational, and Functional Interpretations of Nouns and Russian Container Constructions.B. H. Partee & V. Borschev - 2012 - Journal of Semantics 29 (4):445-486.
    Among the semantic types that nouns can take on, functional types are the smallest class, and functional nouns are probably not a linguistically distinct subcategory, pace Löbner (1985). But there are some interesting constructions specific to functional nouns, of which we discuss three, devoting most attention to the third. The three are (i) parameter-headed NPs as modifiers in English, as in a dress that length (Partee 1986), (ii) a construction in Russian known as Genitive with Obligatory Third Term (Borschev & (...)
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  • No More Shall We Part: Quantifiers in English Comparatives.Peter Alrenga & Christopher Kennedy - 2014 - Natural Language Semantics 22 (1):1-53.
    It is well known that the interpretation of quantificational expressions in the comparative clause poses a serious challenge for semantic analyses of the English comparative. In this paper, we develop a new analysis of the comparative clause designed to meet this challenge, in which a silent occurrence of the negative degree quantifier no interacts with other quantificational expressions to derive the observed range of interpretations. Although our analysis incorporates ideas from previous analyses, we show that it is able to account (...)
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