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Parts and Wholes in Semantics (TOC)

Oxford University Press (1997)

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  1. Plurals and Mereology.Salvatore Florio & David Nicolas - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-31.
    In linguistics, the dominant approach to the semantics of plurals appeals to mereology. However, this approach has received strong criticisms from philosophical logicians who subscribe to an alternative framework based on plural logic. In the first part of the article, we offer a precise characterization of the mereological approach and the semantic background in which the debate can be meaningfully reconstructed. In the second part, we deal with the criticisms and assess their logical, linguistic, and philosophical significance. We identify four (...)
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  • Truthmaker Semantics for Natural Language: Attitude Verbs, Modals, and Intensional Transitive Verbs.Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - Theoretical Linguistics.
    This paper gives an outline of truthmaker semantics for natural language against the background of standard possible-worlds semantics. It develops a truthmaker semantics for attitude reports and deontic modals based on an ontology of attitudinal and modal objects and on a semantic function of clauses as predicates of such objects. It also présents new motivations for 'object-based truthmaker semantics' from intensional transitive verbs such as ‘need’, ‘look for’, ‘own’, and ‘buy’ and gives an outline of their semantics. This paper is (...)
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  • The Logic of Mass Expressions.David Nicolas - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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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 Razor Argument of Metaphysics A.9.José Edgar González-Varela - 2018 - Phronesis 63 (4):408-448.
    I discuss Aristotle’s opening argument against Platonic Forms in _Metaphysics_ A.9, ‘the Razor’, which criticizes the introduction of Forms on the basis of an analogy with a hypothetical case of counting things. I argue for a new interpretation of this argument, and show that it involves two interesting objections against the introduction of Forms as formal causes: one concerns the completeness and the other the adequacy of such an explanatory project.
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  • La distinction entre noms massifs et noms comptables.David Nicolas - 2002 - Editions Peeters.
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  • Distributivity Strengthens Reciprocity, Collectivity Weakens It.Hana Filip & Gregory N. Carlson - 2001 - Linguistics and Philosophy 24 (4):417-466.
    In this paper we examine interactions of the reciprocal with distributive and collective operators, which are encoded by prefixes on verbs expressing the reciprocal relation: namely, the Czech distributive po and the collectivizing na-. The theoretical import of this study is two-fold. First, it contributes to our knowledge of how word-internal operators interact with phrasal syntax/semantics. Second, the prefixes po and na generate (a range of) readings of reciprocal sentences for which the Strongest Meaning Hypothesis (SMH) proposed by Dalrymple et (...)
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  • Ordinary Objects and Series‐Style Answers to the Special Composition Question.Paul Silva - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (1):69-88.
    The special composition question asks, roughly, under what conditions composition occurs. The common sense view is that composition only occurs among some things and that all and only ‘ordinary objects’ exist. Peter van Inwagen has marshaled a devastating argument against this view. The common sense view appears to commit one to giving what van Inwagen calls a ‘series-style answer’ to the special composition question, but van Inwagen argues that series-style answers are impossible because they are inconsistent with the transitivity of (...)
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  • Part Structures, Integrity, and the Mass-Count Distinction.Friederike Moltmann - 1998 - Synthese 116 (1):75 - 111.
    The notions of part and whole play an important role for ontology and in many areas of the semantics of natural language. Both in philosophy and linguistic semantics, usually a particular notion of part structure is used, that of extensional mereology. This paper argues that such a notion is insufficient for ontology and, especially, for the semantic analysis of the relevant constructionsof natural language. What is needed for the notion of part structure,in addition to an ordering among parts, is the (...)
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  • Homogeneity, Non-Maximality, Andall.Manuel Križ - 2016 - Journal of Semantics 33 (3):493-539.
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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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  • Degree Structure as Trope Structure: A Trope-Based Analysis of Positive and Comparative Adjectives.Friederike Moltmann - 2009 - Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (1):51-94.
    This paper explores a novel analysis of adjectives in the comparative and the positive based on the notion of a trope, rather than the notion of a degree. Tropes are particularized properties, concrete manifestations of properties in individuals. The point of departure is that a sentence like ‘John is happier than Mary’ is intuitively equivalent to ‘John’s happiness exceeds Mary’s happiness’, a sentence that expresses a simple comparison between two tropes, John’s happiness and Mary’s happiness. The analysis received particular support (...)
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  • Nominalizing Quantifiers.Friederike Moltmann - 2003 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 32 (5):445-481.
    Quantified expressions in natural language generally are taken to act like quantifiers in logic, which either range over entities that need to satisfy or not satisfy the predicate in order for the sentence to be true or otherwise are substitutional quantifiers. I will argue that there is a philosophically rather important class of quantified expressions in English that act quite differently, a class that includes something, nothing, and several things. In addition to expressing quantification, such expressions act like nominalizations, introducing (...)
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  • Events, Tropes, and Truthmaking.Friederike Moltmann - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 134 (3):363-403.
    Nominalizations are expressions that are particularly challenging philosophically in that they help form singular terms that seem to refer to abstract or derived objects often considered controversial. The three standard views about the semantics of nominalizations are [1] that they map mere meanings onto objects, [2] that they refer to implicit arguments, and [3] that they introduce new objects, in virtue of their compositional semantics. In the second case, nominalizations do not add anything new but pick up objects that would (...)
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  • The Semantics of Together.Friederike Moltmann - 2004 - Natural Language Semantics 12 (4):289-318.
    The semantic function of the modifier 'together' in adnominal position has generally been considered to be that of preventing a distributive reading of the predicate. This paper will argue that this view is mistaken. The semantic function of adnominal 'together' rather is that of inducing a cumulative measurement of the group that together is associated with. The measurement-based analysis of adnominal together that I propose can also, with some modifications, be extended to adverbial occurrences of together.
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  • Two Kinds of Universals and Two Kinds of Collections.Friederike Moltmann - 2004 - Linguistics and Philosophy 27 (6):739 - 776.
    This paper argues for an ontological distinction between two kinds of universals, 'kinds of tropes' such as 'wisdom' and properties such as 'the property of being wise'. It argues that the distinction is parallel to that between two kinds of collections, pluralities such as 'the students' and collective objects such as 'the class'. The paper argues for the priortity of distributive readings with pluralities on the basis of predicates of extent or shape, such 'large' or 'long'.
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  • Partial Content and Expressions of Part and Whole. Discussion of Stephen Yablo: Aboutness.Friederike Moltmann - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):797-808.
    In 'Aboutness' (MIT Press 2014), Yablo argues for the importance of the notions of partial content and partial truth. This paper argues that they are involved in a much greater range of entities than acknowledged by Yablo. The paper also argues that some of those entities involve a notion of partial satisfaction as well as partial existence (validity).
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  • A Plural Reference Interpretation of Three-Dimensional Syntactic Trees.Friederike Moltmann - 2017 - In C. van Urk / H. Kotek / C. Halpert (eds.): A Pesky Set. Papers for David Pesetsky . MIT Working Papers in Linguistics (MITWPL) 80, MIT Cambridge (Mass.). Cambridge, MA:
    Various syntacticians have argued that coordinate structures involve a three-dimensional syntactic structure. This paper proposes an interpretation of three-dimensional syntactic structures in terms of plural reference and argues that such structures give further support for plural reference, the view that plural terms refer to several entities at once, rather than referring to a single plural individual.
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  • Situations in Natural Language Semantics.Angelika Kratzer - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Situation semantics was developed as an alternative to possible worlds semantics. In situation semantics, linguistic expressions are evaluated with respect to partial, rather than complete, worlds. There is no consensus about what situations are, just as there is no consensus about what possible worlds or events are. According to some, situations are structured entities consisting of relations and individuals standing in those relations. According to others, situations are particulars. In spite of unresolved foundational issues, the partiality provided by situation semantics (...)
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  • Plurals and Complexes.Keith Hossack - 2000 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (3):411-443.
    Atomism denies that complexes exist. Common-sense metaphysics may posit masses, composite individuals and sets, but atomism says there are only simples. In a singularist logic, it is difficult to make a plausible case for atomism. But we should accept plural logic, and then atomism can paraphrase away apparent reference to complexes. The paraphrases require unfamiliar plural universals, but these are of independent interest; for example, we can identify numbers and sets with plural universals. The atomist paraphrases would fail if plurals (...)
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  • A Note on Plural Logic.Gustavo Fernández Díez - 2010 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 17 (2):150-162.
    A distinction is introduced between itemized and non-itemized plural predication. It is argued that a full-fledged system of plural logic is not necessary in order to account for the validity of inferences concerning itemized collective predication. Instead, it is shown how this type of inferences can be adequately dealt with in a first-order logic system, after small modifications on the standard treatment. The proposed system, unlike plural logic, has the advantage of preserving completeness. And as a result, inferences such as (...)
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  • Natural Language Ontology.Friederike Moltmann - 2017 - Oxford Encyclopedia of Linguistics.
    The aim of natural language ontology is to uncover the ontological categories and structures that are implicit in the use of natural language, that is, that a speaker accepts when using a language. This article aims to clarify what exactly the subject matter of natural language ontology is, what sorts of linguistic data it should take into account, how natural language ontology relates to other branches of metaphysics, in what ways natural language ontology is important, and what may be distinctive (...)
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  • Two Types of Belief Report.Michael Hegarty - 2010 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 6 (1).
    Ascriptions of belief and other doxastic propositional attitudes are commonly interpreted as quantifying over a set of possible worlds constituting doxastic alternatives for the belief experiencer. Katz has argued that belief predicates and other stative attitude predicates, along with stative predicates generally, lack a Davidsonian event argument and therefore do not report on any eventuality . Hacquard , in contrast, assumes that all attitude ascriptions describe an event corresponding to the mental state of the attitude experiencer. The present investigation suggests (...)
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  • Mass Nouns and Plurals.Peter Lasersohn - 2011 - In Claudia Maienborn, Klaus von Heusinger & Paul Portner (eds.), Semantics: An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning. De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 2.
    Survey of issues pertaining to the semantics of mass and plural nouns.
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  • Events and Event Talk: An Introduction.Fabio Pianesi & Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - In James Higginbotham, Fabio Pianesi & Achille C. Varzi (eds.), Speaking of Events. Oxford University Press. pp. 3–47.
    A critical review of the main themes arising out of recent literature on the semantics of ordinary event talk. The material is organized in four sections: (i) the nature of events, with emphasis on the opposition between events as particulars and events as universals; (ii) identity and indeterminacy, with emphasis on the unifier/multiplier controversy; (iii) events and logical form, with emphasis on Davidson’s treatment of the form of action sentences; (iv) linguistic applications, with emphasis on issues concerning aspectual phenomena, the (...)
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  • Natural Language and its Ontology.Friederike Moltmann - 2019 - In Alvin Goldman & Brian Mclaughlin (eds.), Metaphysics and Cognitive Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 206-232.
    This paper gives a characterization of the ontology implicit in natural language and the entities it involves, situates natural language ontology within metaphysics, and responds to Chomskys' dismissal of externalist semantics.
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  • Is There Anything Characteristic About the Meaning of a Count Noun?David Nicolas - 2002 - Revue de la Lexicologie 18.
    In English, some common nouns, like "cat", can be used in the singular and in the plural, while others, like "wate"r, are invariable. Moreover, nouns like "cat" can be employed with numerals like "one" and "two" and determiners like "a", "many" and "few", but neither with "much" nor "little". On the contrary, nouns like "milk" can be used with determiners like "much" and "little", but neither with "a", "one" nor "many". These two types of nouns constitute two morphosyntactic sub-classes of (...)
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  • Nominals and Event Structure.Friederike Moltmann - 2019 - In Robert Truswell (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Event Structure. Oxford: Oxford UP.
    This paper discusses three approaches to the semantics of event nominalizations and adverbial modification: the Davidsonian account, the Kimian account, and the truthmaker account. It argues that a combination of all three accounts is needed for the semantics of the full range of event, trope, and state nominalizations in English.
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  • Aspect, Adverbs, and Events: Habituality Vs. Perfectivity.Alessandro Lenci & Pier Marco Bertinetto - 2000 - In Achille Varzi, James Higginbotham & Fabio Pianesi (eds.), Speaking of Events. Oxford University Press.
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  • Mereology.Achille C. Varzi - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An overview of contemporary part-whole theories, with reference to both their axiomatic developments and their philosophical underpinnings.
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  • The Need for Metaphysically-Based Ontologies in Higher-Level Information Fusion Applications.Eric Little - 2006 - In Ingvar Johansson, Bertin Klein & Thomas Roth-Berghofer (eds.), Wspi 2006: Contributions to the Third International Workshop on Philosophy and Informatics. pp. 89.
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  • The Demarcation Between Philosophy and Science.Gustavo Fernández Díez - 2010 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 29 (2):131-146.
    This paper is based on a criterion recently proposed by Richard Fumerton for demarcating philosophy of mind and cognitive science. I suggest to extend it to a demarcation criterion between philosophy and science in general, and put it in the context of the historical changes of boundaries between the philosophical and the scientifi c fi eld. I point to a number of philosophical claims and approaches that have been made utterly obsolete by the advancement of science, and conjecture that a (...)
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  • Overt Distributivity in Algebraic Event Semantics.Lucas Champollion - 2016 - Semantics and Pragmatics 9 (16):1-65.
    This is the second in a pair of papers that aim to provide a comprehensive analysis of the semantic phenomenon of distributivity in natural language. This paper describes and explains observable cross-linguistic differences in overt distributive items in the framework of Neo-Davidsonian algebraic event semantics. The previous paper, Champollion 2016, postulated two covert distributivity operators, D and Part, in the grammar, even though the semantic effects of D can be subsumed under the workings of Part. This paper motivates the split (...)
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  • Metaphysical Themes 1274–1671, by Robert Pasnau.Claude Panaccio - 2015 - Mind 124 (495):964-968.
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  • Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language, by Friederike Moltmann.Byeong-Uk Yi - 2015 - Mind 124 (495):958-964.
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  • Dog After Dog Revisited.Sigrid Beck & Arnim von Stechow - unknown
    The topic of this paper is the semantic analysis of the sentences in (1). (1a,b) contain the adverbial modifiers 'one after the other' and 'dog after dog', respectively, which add to the simple (1') information on how the overall event of the dogs entering the room is to be divided into subevents based on a division of the group of dogs into individual dogs. We call these adverbials pluractional adverbials, following e.g. Lasersohn's (1995) use of the term pluractionality for the (...)
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  • Dependent Plurals and Plural Meaning.Eytan Zweig - 2008 - Dissertation, NYU
    While writing this thesis, there were many things I wanted to get right. I wanted to get the data right. I wanted to get my analysis of the data right. I certainly wanted to get all my citations right, which can get pretty tricky when one is trying to finish a chapter at 2am. But if an error did creep in somewhere in the body of the thesis, that is not a disaster. Sooner or later, I will get a chance (...)
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  • Book Reviews. [REVIEW][author unknown] - 1999 - History and Philosophy of Logic 20 (2):121-144.
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  • Far From Obvious: The Semantics of Locative Indefinites.Sela Mador-Haim & Yoad Winter - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (5):437-476.
    Simple locative sentences show a variety of pseudo-quantificational interpretations. Some locatives give the impression of universal quantification over parts of objects, others involve existential quantification, and yet others cannot be characterized by either of these quantificational terms. This behavior is explained by virtually all semantic theories of locatives. What has not been previously observed is that similar quantificational variability is also exhibited by locative sentences containing indefinites with the ‘a’ article. This phenomenon is especially problematic for traditional existential treatments of (...)
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  • Part Structures in Situations: The Semantics of 'Individual' and 'Whole'.Friederike Moltmann - 2005 - Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (5):599 - 641.
    This paper develops the notion of a situated part structure and applies it to the semantics of the modifiers 'whole' and 'individual'. It argues that the ambiguity of 'whole' should be traced to two different conceptions of part structures of objects being at play: one according to which the parts of an objects are just the material parts and another, Aristotelian conception according to which the parts of an object include properties of form.
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  • Ten Men and Women Got Married Today: Noun Coordination and the Intersective Theory of Conjunction.Lucas Champollion - 2016 - Journal of Semantics 33 (3):561–622.
    The word 'and' can be used both intersectively, as in 'John lies and cheats', and collectively, as in 'John and Mary met'. Research has tried to determine which one of these two meanings is basic. Focusing on coordination of nouns ('liar and cheat'), this article argues that the basic meaning of 'and' is intersective. This theory has been successfully applied to coordination of other kinds of constituents (Partee & Rooth 1983; Winter 2001). Certain cases of noun coordination ('men and women') (...)
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  • Time and Event Measure.Richard Larson - 2003 - Philosophical Perspectives 17 (1):247–258.
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  • A Note on the Transitivity of Parthood.Achille C. Varzi - 2006 - Applied Ontology 1 (2):141-146.
    That parthood is a transitive relation is among the most basic principles of classical mereology. Alas, it is also very controversial. In a recent paper, Ingvar Johansson has put forward a novel diagnosis of the problem, along with a corresponding solution. The diagnosis is on the right track, I argue, but the solution is misleading. And once the pieces are properly put together, we end up with a reinforcement of the standard defense of transitivity on behalf of classical mereology.
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  • On the Plurality of Verbs.Angelika Kratzer - unknown
    This paper pursues some of the consequences of the idea that there are (at least) two sources for distributive/cumulative interpretations in English. One source is lexical pluralization: All predicative stems are born as plurals, as Manfred Krifka and Fred Landman have argued. Lexical pluralization should be available in any language and should not depend on the particular make-up of its DPs. I suggest that the other source of cumulative/distributive interpretations in English is directly provided by plural DPs. DPs with plural (...)
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  • Generalizing Detached Self-Reference and the Semantics of Generic One.Friederike Moltmann - 2010 - Mind and Language 25 (4):440-473.
    In this paper I will give an analysis of what I call ‘generalizing detached self-reference’ within a general account of reference to the first person. With generalizing detached self-reference an agent attributes properties to a range of individuals by putting himself into their shoes, or simulating them. I will show that generalizing detached self-reference plays an important role in the semantics of natural language, in particular in the English generic one and in what syntacticians call arbitrary PRO.
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