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  1. A Preference Semantics for Imperatives.William B. Starr - 2020 - Semantics and Pragmatics 20.
    Imperative sentences like Dance! do not seem to represent the world. Recent modal analyses challenge this idea, but its intuitive and historical appeal remain strong. This paper presents three new challenges for a non-representational analysis, showing that the obstacles facing it are even steeper than previously appreciated. I will argue that the only way for the non-representationalist to meet these three challenges is to adopt a dynamic semantics. Such a dynamic semantics is proposed here: imperatives introduce preferences between alternatives. This (...)
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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 15, Saarbruecken.Ingo Reich (ed.) - 2010 - Saarbrücken: Universitätsverlag des Saarlandes.
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  • Don't Ask, Look! Linguistic Corpora as a Tool for Conceptual Analysis.Roland Bluhm - 2013 - In Migue Hoeltje, Thomas Spitzley & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), Was dürfen wir glauben? Was sollen wir tun? Sektionsbeiträge des achten internationalen Kongresses der Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie e.V. DuEPublico. pp. 7-15.
    Ordinary Language Philosophy has largely fallen out of favour, and with it the belief in the primary importance of analyses of ordinary language for philosophical purposes. Still, in their various endeavours, philosophers not only from analytic but also from other backgrounds refer to the use and meaning of terms of interest in ordinary parlance. In doing so, they most commonly appeal to their own linguistic intuitions. Often, the appeal to individual intuitions is supplemented by reference to dictionaries. In recent times, (...)
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  • Practical Language: Its Meaning and Use.Nate Charlow - 2011 - Dissertation, University of Michigan
    I demonstrate that a "speech act" theory of meaning for imperatives is—contra a dominant position in philosophy and linguistics—theoretically desirable. A speech act-theoretic account of the meaning of an imperative !φ is characterized, broadly, by the following claims. -/- LINGUISTIC MEANING AS USE !φ’s meaning is a matter of the speech act an utterance of it conventionally functions to express—what a speaker conventionally uses it to do (its conventional discourse function, CDF). -/- IMPERATIVE USE AS PRACTICAL !φ's CDF is to (...)
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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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  • Three Kinds of Ellipsis: Syntactic, Semantic, Pragmatic?Jason Merchant - 2010 - In Francois Recanati, IIsidora Stojanovic & Neftali Villanueva (eds.), Context-Dependence, Perspective, and Relativity (pp. 141-192).
    The term ‘ellipsis’ can be used to refer to a variety of phenomena: syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic. In this article, I discuss the recent comprehensive survey by Stainton 2006 of these kinds of ellipsis with respect to the analysis of nonsententials and try to show that despite his trenchant criticisms and insightful proposal, some of the criticisms can be evaded and the insights incorporated into a semantic ellipsis analysis, making a ‘divide-and-conquer’ strategy to the properties of nonsententials feasible after all. (...)
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  • Conditional Questions.J. Isaacs & K. Rawlins - 2008 - Journal of Semantics 25 (3):269-319.
    This paper provides an analysis of conditional questions (CQs) that combines a dynamic semantics for conditionals with a partition semantics for questions. We propose that CQs are interpreted in two steps. First, a temporary context is created in which the propositional content of the antecedent is obtained. Second, the question in the consequent is asked relative to this temporary context. Subsequent answers are then asserted relative to the temporary context. Our analysis also has a pragmatic component. Previous analyses have augmented (...)
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  • Epistemic Modality De Re.Seth Yalcin - 2015 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2:475-527.
    Focusing on cases which involve binding into epistemic modals with definite descriptions and quantifiers, I raise some new problems for standard approaches to all of these expressions. The difficulties are resolved in a semantic framework that is dynamic in character. I close with a new class of problems about de re readings within the scope of modals.
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  • Voices and Noises in the Theory of Speech Acts.Savas L. Tsohatzidis - 2004 - Pragmatics and Cognition 12 (1):105-151.
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  • Question Meaning= Resolution Conditions.Ivano Ciardelli - 2017 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 26 (3):383-416.
    Traditional approaches to the semantics of questions analyze questions indirectly, via the notion of an answer. In recent work on inquisitive semantics, a different perspective is taken: the meaning of a question is equated with its resolution conditions, just like the meaning of a statement is traditionally equated with its truth-conditions. In this paper I argue that this proposal improves on previous approaches, combining the formal elegance and explanatory power of Groenendijk and Stokhof’s partition theory with the greater generality afforded (...)
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  • On Reacting to Assertions and Polar Questions.D. F. Farkas & K. B. Bruce - 2010 - Journal of Semantics 27 (1):81-118.
    The aim of this paper is to capture the similarities and differences between assertions and polar questions so as to be able to account for the systematic partial overlap that exists in reactions to these speech acts in English and beyond. We first discuss the discourse components we assume and then define default assertions and default polar questions in a way that allows us to characterize two types of responses to these speech acts, confirming and reversing reactions. The common characteristics (...)
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  • Propositional Anaphors.Peter van Elswyk - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):1055-1075.
    Propositions are posited to perform a variety of explanatory roles. One important role is being what is designated by a dedicated linguistic expression like a "that"-clause. In this paper, the case that propositions are needed for such a role is bolstered by defending that there are other expressions dedicated to designating propositions. In particular, it is shown that natural language has anaphors for propositions. Complement "so" and the response markers "yes" and "no" are argued to be such expressions.
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  • Evidential Scalar Implicatures.Martina Faller - 2012 - Linguistics and Philosophy 35 (4):285-312.
    This paper develops an analysis of a scalar implicature that is induced by the use of reportative evidentials such as the Cuzco Quechua enclitic = si and the German modal sollen. Reportatives, in addition to specifying the speaker’s source of information for a statement as a report by someone else, also usually convey that the speaker does not have direct evidence for the proposition expressed. While this type of implicature can be calculated using the same kind of Gricean reasoning that (...)
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  • Conditionals, Meaning, and Mood.William Starr - 2010 - Dissertation, Rutgers University
    This work explores the hypothesis that natural language is a tool for changing a language user's state of mind and, more specifically, the hypothesis that a sentence's meaning is constituted by its characteristic role in fulfilling this purpose. This view contrasts with the dominant approach to semantics due to Frege, Tarski and others' work on artificial languages: language is first and foremost a tool for representing the world. Adapted to natural language by Davidson, Lewis, Montague, et. al. this dominant approach (...)
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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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  • On the Event Relativity of Modal Auxiliaries.Valentine Hacquard - 2010 - Natural Language Semantics 18 (1):79-114.
    Crosslinguistically, the same modal words can be used to express a wide range of interpretations. This crosslinguistic trend supports a Kratzerian analysis, where each modal has a core lexical entry and where the difference between an epistemic and a root interpretation is contextually determined. A long-standing problem for such a unified account is the equally robust crosslinguistic correlation between a modal’s interpretation and its syntactic behavior: epistemics scope high (in particular higher than tense and aspect) and roots low, a fact (...)
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  • The Dimensions of Quotation.Christopher Potts - 2007 - In Chris Barker & Pauline I. Jacobson (eds.), Direct Compositionality. Oxford University Press. pp. 405--431.
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  • Exclamatives, Degrees and Speech Acts.Jessica Rett - 2011 - Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (5):411-442.
    The goal of this paper is an account of the semantics and pragmatics of exclamation. I focus on two key observations: first, that sentence exclamations like Wow, John bakes delicious desserts! and exclamatives like What delicious desserts John bakes! express that a particular proposition has violated the speaker’s expectations; and second, that exclamatives are semantically restricted in a way that sentence exclamations are not. In my account of these facts, I propose a characterization of illocutionary force of exclamation, a function (...)
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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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  • What Man Does.Eric McCready - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (6):671-724.
    This paper considers the meaning and use of the English particle man . It is shown that the particle does quite different things when it appears in sentence-initial and sentence-final position; the first use involves expression of an emotional attitude as well as, on a particular intonation, intensification; this use is analyzed using a semantics for degree predicates along with a separate dimension for the expressive aspect. Further restrictions on modification with the sentence-initial particle involving monotonicity and evidence are introduced (...)
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  • Focus Interpretation in Thetic Statements: Alternative Semantics and Optimality Theory Pragmatics. [REVIEW]Kjell Johan Sæbø - 2006 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 16 (1):15-33.
    Broad focus (or informational integration or nonautonomy) is lexically and contextually constrained, but these constraints are not well understood. On a standard theory of focus interpretation, the presupposition of a broad focus is verified whenever those of two narrow foci are. I argue that to account for cases where two narrow foci are preferred, it is necessary to assume that broad focus competes with two narrow foci and implicates the opposite of what they presuppose. Central constraints on thetic statements are (...)
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  • Two Problems with the Socio-Relational Critique of Distributive Egalitarianism.Christian Seidel - 2013 - In Miguel Hoeltje, Thomas Spitzley & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), Was dürfen wir glauben? Was sollen wir tun? Sektionsbeiträge des achten internationalen Kongresses der Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie e.V. DuEPublico.
    Distributive egalitarians believe that distributive justice is to be explained by the idea of distributive equality (DE) and that DE is of intrinsic value. The socio-relational critique argues that distributive egalitarianism does not account for the “true” value of equality, which rather lies in the idea of “equality as a substantive social value” (ESV). This paper examines the socio-relational critique and argues that it fails because – contrary to what the critique presupposes –, first, ESV is not conceptually distinct from (...)
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  • Intervention Effects and Additivity.Clemens Mayr - 2014 - Journal of Semantics 31 (4):fft010.
    Next SectionBy discussing a novel paradigm, it is shown that the likeliness of an operator to trigger an intervention effect in a wh-in-situ question is determined by the logical properties of that operator (contra Beck 1996a, 2006, for instance). A new empirical generalization accounting for the differences between operators in their ability to cause intervention and improving on existing analyses is suggested. This generalization is fully predictive and allows one to not have to list in the lexicon whether an intervener (...)
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  • Direct Vs. Indirect Disjunction of Wh-Complements, as Diagnosed by Subordinating Complementizers (2016).Anna Szabolcsi - manuscript
    Since the early 1980s, there has been a debate in the semantics literature pertaining to whether wh-interrogatives can be directly disjoined, as main clauses and as complements. Those who held that the direct disjunction of wh-interrogatives was in conflict with certain theoretical considerations proposed that they could be disjoined indirectly. Indirect disjunction proceeds by first lifting both wh-interrogatives and then disjoining them; it assigns matrix-level scope to OR. As we will see, the notorious theoretical need for indirect disjunction has disappeared (...)
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  • Composing Alternatives.Ivano Ciardelli, Floris Roelofsen & Nadine Theiler - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (1):1-36.
    There is a prominent line of work in natural language semantics, rooted in the work of Hamblin, in which the meaning of a sentence is not taken to be a single proposition, but rather a set of propositions—a set of alternatives. This allows for a more fine-grained view on meaning, which has led to improved analyses of a wide range of linguistic phenomena. However, this approach also faces a number of problems. We focus here on two of these, in our (...)
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  • Imperatives in Conditional Conjunction.Benjamin Russell - 2007 - Natural Language Semantics 15 (2):131-166.
    This paper provides evidence for an ambiguity of bare VPs in the English conditional conjunction construction. This ambiguity, undetected by previous researchers, provides a key to the development of a compositional semantic analysis of conditional conjunction with imperative first conjuncts. The analysis combines existing semantic theories of imperatives, the future tense, modal subordination, and speech act conjunction to yield the correct semantics without further stipulation.
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  • On Scope Relations Between Quantifiers and Epistemic Modals.Eric Swanson - 2010 - Journal of Semantics 27 (4):529-540.
    This paper presents and discusses a range of counterexamples to the common view that quantifiers cannot take scope over epistemic modals. Some of the counterexamples raise problems for ‘force modifier’ theories of epistemic modals. Some of the counterexamples raise problems for Robert Stalnaker’s theory of counterfactuals, according to which a special kind of epistemic modal must be able to scope over a whole counterfactual. Finally, some of the counterexamples suggest that David Lewis must countenance ‘would’ counterfactuals in which a covert (...)
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  • Our Even.Sabine Iatridou & Sergei Tatevosov - 2016 - Linguistics and Philosophy 39 (4):295-331.
    We discuss a phenomenon that appears when ‘even’ occurs in questions. Specifically, an inference of what we call “extreme ignorance” is projected onto the speaker. We argue that this effect arises when the known unlikelihood ‘even’ focuses an entire question, resulting in the focused question being the least likely to be asked. Specific implicatures then conspire to bring about the inference that the speaker does not know the answer to the question that is most expected to be known. The environments (...)
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  • Epistemic Modals and Credal Disagreement.Torfinn Thomesen Huvenes - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):987-1011.
    Considerations involving disagreement, as well as related considerations involving correction and retraction, have played an important role in recent debates about epistemic modals. For instance, it has been argued that contextualist views about epistemic modals have problems when it comes to explaining cases of disagreement. In response to these challenges, I explore the idea that the relevant cases of disagreement may involve credal disagreement. In a case of credal disagreement, the parties have different degrees of belief or credences. There does (...)
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  • Negative Polarity as Scope Marking.Chris Barker - 2018 - Linguistics and Philosophy 41 (5):483-510.
    What is the communicative value of negative polarity? That is, why do so many languages maintain a stock of special indefinites that occur only in a proper subset of the contexts in which ordinary indefinites can appear? Previous answers include: marking the validity of downward inferences; marking the invalidity of veridical inferences; or triggering strengthening implications. My starting point for exploring a new answer is the fact that an NPI must always take narrow scope with respect to its licensing context. (...)
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