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Restrictions on Quantifier Domains

Dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1994)

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  1. A semantic account of quantifier-induced intervention effects in Chinese why-questions.Dawei Jin - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (4):345-387.
    This paper revisits intervention effects in Mandarin Chinese why-questions. I present a novel empirical generalization, in which it is shown that the ability for quantifiers to induce intervention hinges upon their monotonicity and their ability to be interpreted as topics. I then propose a semantic account of intervention that correlates topicality with the monotone properties of intervening operators. A crucial assumption in this account is that why-questions in Chinese are idiosyncratic, in that the Chinese equivalent of why directly merges at (...)
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  • Semantics with Assignment Variables.Alex Silk - forthcoming - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    This book develops a syntactic and semantic framework for natural language. The principal focus is a spectrum of "shifting" phenomena in which the context relevant for interpreting certain expressions seems to depend on features of the linguistic environment. A key innovation is to introduce explicit representations of context in linguistic structure and meanings. Central applications include local and non-local contextual dependencies with quantifiers, attitude ascriptions, conditionals, questions, and relativization. The project integrates conceptual insights from contemporary philosophy of language, formal tools (...)
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  • Discourse Dynamics, Pragmatics, and Indefinites.Karen S. Lewis - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (2):313-342.
    Discourse dynamics, pragmatics, and indefinites Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-30 DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-9882-y Authors Karen S. Lewis, Department of Philosophy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
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  • Epistemic Comparativism: A Contextualist Semantics for Knowledge Ascriptions.Jonathan Schaffer & Zoltan Gendler Szabo - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (2):491-543.
    Knowledge ascriptions seem context sensitive. Yet it is widely thought that epistemic contextualism does not have a plausible semantic implementation. We aim to overcome this concern by articulating and defending an explicit contextualist semantics for ‘know,’ which integrates a fairly orthodox contextualist conception of knowledge as the elimination of the relevant alternatives, with a fairly orthodox “Amherst” semantics for A-quantification over a contextually variable domain of situations. Whatever problems epistemic contextualism might face, lack of an orthodox semantic implementation is not (...)
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  • Context Dependence.Thomas Ede Zimmermann - 2012 - In C. Maienborn, K. von Heusinger & P. Portner (eds.), Handbook of Semantics. Volume 3. de Gruyter.
    Linguistic expressions frequently make reference to the situation in which they are uttered. In fact, there are expressions whose whole point of use is to relate to their context of utterance. It is such expressions that this article is primarily about. However, rather than presenting the richness of pertinent phenomena (cf. Anderson & Keenan 1985), it concentrates on the theoretical tools provided by the (standard) two-dimensional analysis of context dependence, essentially originating with Kaplan (1989)--with a little help from Stalnaker (1978) (...)
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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 15, Saarbruecken.Ingo Reich (ed.) - 2010 - Saarbrücken: Universitätsverlag des Saarlandes.
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  • Descriptions with Adverbs of Quantification.Delia Graff Fara - 2006 - Philosophical Issues 16 (1):65–87.
    In “Descriptions as Predicates” (Fara 2001) I argued that definite and indefinite descriptions should be given a uniform semantic treatment as predicates rather than as quantifier phrases. The aim of the current paper is to clarify and elaborate one of the arguments for the descriptions-aspredicates view, one that concerns the interaction of descriptions with adverbs of quantification.
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  • Know-How and Gradability.Carlotta Pavese - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (3):345-383.
    Orthodoxy has it that knowledge is absolute—that is, it cannot come in degrees. On the other hand, there seems to be strong evidence for the gradability of know-how. Ascriptions of know-how are gradable, as when we say that one knows in part how to do something, or that one knows how to do something better than somebody else. When coupled with absolutism, the gradability of ascriptions of know-how can be used to mount a powerful argument against intellectualism about know-how—the view (...)
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  • Reference Processes in Intensional Contexts.Francesca Delogu - 2009 - In Arndt Riester & Torgrim Solstad (eds.), Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 13.
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  • Presupposition Projection in Online Processing.Florian Schwarz & Sonja Tiemann - 2016 - Journal of Semantics:ffw005.
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  • False but Slow: Evaluating Statements with Non-Referring Definites.Florian Schwarz - 2015 - Journal of Semantics:ffu019.
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  • If P, Then P!Matthew Mandelkern - manuscript
    The Identity principle says that conditionals with the form 'If p, then p' are logical truths. Identity is overwhelmingly plausible, and has rarely been explicitly challenged. But a wide range of conditionals nonetheless invalidate it. I explain the problem, and argue that the culprit is the principle known as Import-Export, which we must thus reject. I then explore how we can reject Import-Export in a way that still makes sense of the intuitions that support it, arguing that the differences between (...)
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  • Modal Concord: A Case Study of Dutch.J. Huitink - 2012 - Journal of Semantics 29 (3):403-437.
    The combination of a modal verb and a modal adverb as may perhaps or must certainly may receive a concord interpretation, where the two modals communicate just a single modality. The present article uncovers the main restrictions on modal concord, concentrating on the way it is exemplified in Dutch, and surveys the recent literature on modal concord. Three possible analyses will be critically compared. The first is a syntactic analysis in terms of agreement, the second a semantic analysis in terms (...)
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  • Credence for Epistemic Discourse.Paolo Santorio - manuscript
    Many recent theories of epistemic discourse exploit an informational notion of consequence, i.e. a notion that defines entailment as preservation of support by an information state. This paper investigates how informational consequence fits with probabilistic reasoning. I raise two problems. First, all informational inferences that are not also classical inferences are, intuitively, probabilistically invalid. Second, all these inferences can be exploited, in a systematic way, to generate triviality results. The informational theorist is left with two options, both of them radical: (...)
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  • Triviality Results and the Relationship Between Logical and Natural Languages.Justin Khoo & Matthew Mandelkern - 2019 - Mind 128 (510):485-526.
    Inquiry into the meaning of logical terms in natural language (‘and’, ‘or’, ‘not’, ‘if’) has generally proceeded along two dimensions. On the one hand, semantic theories aim to predict native speaker intuitions about the natural language sentences involving those logical terms. On the other hand, logical theories explore the formal properties of the translations of those terms into formal languages. Sometimes, these two lines of inquiry appear to be in tension: for instance, our best logical investigation into conditional connectives may (...)
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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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  • Kripke's Critique of Descriptivism Revisited.Pierre Baumann - 2010 - Princípios 17 (27):167-201.
    This paper has two purposes: the first is to critically examine Kripke’s well-known arguments against Descriptivism and suggest that they are not as decisive as many have thought; the second is to argue that proper names do encode descriptive information of various kinds, that such information may be truth-conditionally significant, and hence that a name’s truth-conditional contribution is not limited to its referent.
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  • Structured Anaphora to Quantifier Domains: A Unified Account of Quantificational & Modal Subordination and Exceptional Wide Scope.Adrian Brasoveanu - manuscript
    The paper proposes a novel analysis of quantificational subordination, e.g. Harvey courts a woman at every convention. {She is very pretty. vs. She always comes to the banquet with him.} (Karttunen 1976), in particular of the fact that the indefinite in the initial sentence can have wide or narrow scope, but the first discourse as a whole allows only for the wide scope reading, while the second discourse allows for both readings. The cross-sentential interaction between scope and anaphora is captured (...)
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  • Experience, Evaluation and Faultless Disagreement.Alex Anthony - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (6):686-722.
    In the last decade there has been a torrent of work at the intersection of philosophy and linguistics on predicates of personal taste, subjective expressions like fun and tasty that are used to express opinions rather than matters of fact. In each section of this paper I discuss a phenomenon that has been largely overlooked in the literature on PPTs. In Section 1, I identify a neglected experiential reading of these adjectives. All other theories of expressions like fun take them (...)
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  • Proceedings of the Sixteenth Amsterdam Colloquium.Maria Aloni & Paul Dekker - unknown
    The 2007 edition of the Amsterdam Colloquium is the Sixteenth in a series which started in 1976. Originally, the Amsterdam Colloquium was an initiative of the Department of Philosophy of the University of Amsterdam. Since 1984 the Colloquium is organized by the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) of the University of Amsterdam.
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  • Multiple Focus.S. Beck & S. Vasishth - 2009 - Journal of Semantics 26 (2):159-184.
    Next SectionThis paper presents the results of an experimental study on multiple focus configurations, that is, structures containing two nested focus-sensitive operators plus two foci supposed to associate with those operators. There has been controversial discussion in the semantic literature regarding whether or not an interpretation is acceptable that corresponds to this association. While the data are unclear, the issue is of considerable theoretical significance, as it distinguishes between the available theories of focus interpretation. Some theories (e.g. Rooth's 1992) predict (...)
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  • No Alternative to Alternatives.A. Cohen - 2009 - Journal of Semantics 26 (1):1-48.
    Rooth's theory of focus requires, in addition to the ordinary semantic value of an expression, the focus semantic value, which is a set of alternatives generated by focus. Rooth claims that the union of the focus semantic value is accommodated into the restrictor of an adverbial quantifier. More recently, however, some researchers have argued convincingly that what is accommodated is, in fact, the existential presupposition induced by focus. It would appear, then, that there is no need for assuming the focus (...)
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  • Quantification and ACD: Evidence From Real-Time Sentence Processing.M. Hackl, J. Koster-Hale & J. Varvoutis - 2012 - Journal of Semantics 29 (2):145-206.
    Quantifiers, unlike proper names or definite descriptions, cannot be given the semantics of referring expressions. This fact has triggered a long-standing debate in formal semantics and syntax as to the combinatorial means by which quantifiers are integrated into a sentence. The present paper contributes to this debate through an investigation of quantifier comprehension during real-time sentence processing. We present evidence showing that two potentially independent processes—the integration of a quantifier in object position and the resolution of antecedent-contained deletion (ACD)—are linked. (...)
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  • Two Types of Donkey Sentences.Lisa L. S. Cheng & C. T. James Huang - 1996 - Natural Language Semantics 4 (2):121-163.
    Mandarin Chinese exhibits two paradigms of conditionals with indefinite wh-words that have the semantics of donkey sentences, represented by ‘bare conditionals’ on the one hand and ruguo- and dou-conditionals on the other. The bare conditionals require multiple occurrences of wh-words, disallowing the use of overt or covert anaphoric elements in the consequent clause, whereas the ruguo- and dou-conditionals present a completely opposite pattern. We argue that the bare conditionals are cases of unselective binding par excellence (Heim 1982, Kamp 1981) while (...)
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  • A Scalar Implicature-Based Approach to Neg-Raising.Jacopo Romoli - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (4):291-353.
    In this paper, I give an analysis of neg-raising inferences as scalar implicatures. The main motivation for this account as opposed to a presupposition-based approach like Gajewski (Linguist Philos 30(3):289–328, 2007) comes from the differences between presuppositions and neg-raising inferences. In response to this issue, Gajewski (2007) argues that neg-raising predicates are soft presuppositional triggers and adopts the account of how their presuppositions arise by Abusch (J Semantics 27(1):1–44, 2010). However, I argue that there is a difference between soft triggers (...)
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  • The Semantics and Pragmatics of Presupposition.Alex Lascarides - 1998 - Journal of Semantics 15 (3):239-300.
    In this paper, we offer a novel analysis of presuppositions, paying particular attention to the interaction between the knowledge resources that are required to The analysis has two main features. First, we capture an analogy between presuppositions, anaphora and scope ambiguity (cf. van der Sandt 1992), by utilizing semantic under-specification (c£ Reyle 1993). Second, resolving this underspecification requires reasoning about how the presupposition is rhetorically connected to the discourse context. This has several consequences. First, since pragmatic information plays a role (...)
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  • Quantificational Variability Effects with Plural Definites: Quantification Over Individuals or Situations?Cornelia Ebert & Stefan Hinterwimmer - 2010 - Journal of Semantics 27 (2):139-176.
    In this paper, we discuss the fact that not only adverbially quantified sentences with singular indefinites or bare plurals but also ones containing plural definites show Quantificational Variability Effects, that is, they receive readings according to which the quantificational force of the respective DP seems to depend on the quantificational force of the Q-adverb. We show that if the Q-adverb is a frequency adverb like usually, there is strong evidence that QVEs come about as indirect effects of a quantification over (...)
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  • Vagueness and Grammar: The Semantics of Relative and Absolute Gradable Adjectives.Christopher Kennedy - 2007 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (1):1 - 45.
    This paper investigates the way that linguistic expressions influence vagueness, focusing on the interpretation of the positive (unmarked) form of gradable adjectives. I begin by developing a semantic analysis of the positive form of ‘relative’ gradable adjectives, expanding on previous proposals by further motivating a semantic basis for vagueness and by precisely identifying and characterizing the division of labor between the compositional and contextual aspects of its interpretation. I then introduce a challenge to the analysis from the class of ‘absolute’ (...)
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  • On the Characterization of Alternatives.Danny Fox & Roni Katzir - 2011 - Natural Language Semantics 19 (1):87-107.
    We present an argument for revising the theory of alternatives for Scalar Implicatures and for Association with Focus. We argue that in both cases the alternatives are determined in the same way, as a contextual restriction of the focus value of the sentence, which, in turn, is defined in structure-sensitive terms. We provide evidence that contextual restriction is subject to a constraint that prevents it from discriminating between alternatives when they stand in a particular logical relationship with the assertion or (...)
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  • How Weak and How Definite Are Weak Definites?Florian Schwarz - manuscript
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  • Bounded Modality.Matthew Mandelkern - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (1):1-61.
    What does 'might' mean? One hypothesis is that 'It might be raining' is essentially an avowal of ignorance like 'For all I know, it's raining'. But it turns out these two constructions embed in different ways, in particular as parts of larger constructions like Wittgenstein's 'It might be raining and it's not' and Moore's 'It's raining and I don't know it', respectively. A variety of approaches have been developed to account for those differences. All approaches agree that both Moore sentences (...)
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  • On Collection and Covert Variables.I. Caponigro & J. Cohen - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):478-488.
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  • Modality and Expressibility.Matthew Mandelkern - 2019 - Review of Symbolic Logic 12 (4):768-805.
    When embedding data are used to argue against semantic theory A and in favor of semantic theory B, it is important to ask whether A could make sense of those data. It is possible to ask that question on a case-by-case basis. But suppose we could show that A can make sense of all the embedding data which B can possibly make sense of. This would, on the one hand, undermine arguments in favor of B over A on the basis (...)
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  • What is Presupposition Accommodation, Again?Kai von Fintel - 2008 - Philosophical Perspectives 22 (1):137--170.
    In his paper “What is a Context of Utterance?”, Christopher Gauker argues that the phenomenon of informative presuppositions is incompatible with the “pragmatic” view of presuppositions as involving requirements on the common ground, the body of shared assumptions of the participants in a conversation. This is a surprising claim since most proponents of this view have in fact dealt with informative presuppositions by appealing to a process called presupposition accommodation. Gauker’s attack shows the need to clarify the nature of this (...)
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  • Context and Logical Form.Jason Stanley - 2000 - Linguistics and Philosophy 23 (4):391--434.
    In this paper, I defend the thesis that alleffects of extra-linguistic context on thetruth-conditions of an assertion are traceable toelements in the actual syntactic structure of thesentence uttered. In the first section, I develop thethesis in detail, and discuss its implications for therelation between semantics and pragmatics. The nexttwo sections are devoted to apparent counterexamples.In the second section, I argue that there are noconvincing examples of true non-sentential assertions.In the third section, I argue that there are noconvincing examples of what (...)
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  • The Universal Density of Measurement.Danny Fox & Martin Hackl - 2006 - Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (5):537 - 586.
    The notion of measurement plays a central role in human cognition. We measure people’s height, the weight of physical objects, the length of stretches of time, or the size of various collections of individuals. Measurements of height, weight, and the like are commonly thought of as mappings between objects and dense scales, while measurements of collections of individuals, as implemented for instance in counting, are assumed to involve discrete scales. It is also commonly assumed that natural language makes use of (...)
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  • Superlative Expressions, Context, and Focus.Yael Sharvit & Penka Stateva - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (4):453-504.
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  • Pirahã Exceptionality: A Reassessment.David Pesetsky, Andrew Nevins & Cilene Rodrigues - manuscript
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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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  • Names Are Not Predicates.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    There are many examples offered as evidence that proper names are predicates. Not all of these cases speak to a name’s semantic content, but many of them do. Some of these include attributive, quantifier, and ambiguity cases. We will explore those cases here, and we will see that none of them conclusively show that names are predicates. In fact, all of these constructions can be given alternative analyses that eliminate the predicative characteristics of names they feature. These analyses do not (...)
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  • Reference and Monstrosity.Paolo Santorio - 2012 - Philosophical Review 121 (3):359-406.
    According to the orthodox account developed by Kaplan, indexicals like I, you, and now invariably refer to elements of the context of speech. This essay argues that the orthodoxy is wrong. I, you, and the like are shifted by certain modal operators and hence can fail to refer to elements of the context, for example, I can fail to refer to the speaker. More precisely, indexicals are syntactically akin to logical variables. They can be free, in which case they work, (...)
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  • Focus: A Case Study on the Semantics–Pragmatics Boundary.Michael Glanzberg - 2005 - In Zoltan Gendler Szabo (ed.), Semantics Versus Pragmatics. Oxford University Press. pp. 72--110.
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  • On the Presuppositional Behavior of Coherence-Driven Pragmatic Enrichments.Andrew Kehler & Jonathan Cohen - 2016 - Semantics and Linguistic Theory 26:961-979.
    When interpreting a sentence such as Every time the company fires an employee who comes in late, a union complaint is lodged, an addressee is likely to infer that the union will only complain when an employee is fired because he came in late. One is thus led to ask why a purely pragmatic enrichment of this sort -- one drawn despite no risk of interpretative failure nor other linguistic mandate -- would intrude upon truth conditions. We argue that this (...)
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  • Towards an Explanation of Copula Effects.Gerhard Jäger - 2003 - Linguistics and Philosophy 26 (5):557-593.
    This paper deals with a series of semantic contrasts between the copula be and the preposition as, two functional elements that both head elementary predication structures. It will be argued that the meaning of as is a type lowering device shifting the meaning of its complement NP from the type of generalized quantifiers to the type of properties (where properties are conceived as relations between individuals and situations), while the copula be induces a type coercion from (partial) situations to (total) (...)
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  • Counterfactuals, Correlatives, and Disjunction.Luis Alonso-Ovalle - 2009 - Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (2):207-244.
    The natural interpretation of counterfactuals with disjunctive antecedents involves selecting from each of the disjuncts the worlds that come closest to the world of evaluation. It has been long noticed that capturing this interpretation poses a problem for a minimal change semantics for counterfactuals, because selecting the closest worlds from each disjunct requires accessing the denotation of the disjuncts from the denotation of the disjunctive antecedent, which the standard boolean analysis of or does not allow (Creary and Hill, Philosophy of (...)
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  • Conditional Truth and Future Reference.Stefan Kaufmann - 2005 - Journal of Semantics 22 (3):231-280.
    This paper proposes a compositional model-theoretic account of the way the interpretation of indicative conditionals is determined and constrained by the temporal and modal expressions in their constituents. The main claim is that the tenses in both the antecedent and the consequent of an indicative conditional are interpreted in the same way as in isolation. This is controversial for the antecedents of predictive conditionals like ‘If he arrives tomorrow, she will leave’, whose Present tense is often claimed to differ semantically (...)
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  • Tense, Predicates, and Lifetime Effects.Renate Musan - 1997 - Natural Language Semantics 5 (3):271-301.
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  • Sharvy's Theory of Definite Descriptions Revisited.Berit Brogaard - 2007 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (2):160–180.
    The paper revisits Sharvy's theory of plural definite descriptions. An alternative account of plural definite descriptions building on the ideas of plural quantification and non-distributive plural predication is developed. Finally, the alternative is extrapolated to account for generic uses of definite descriptions.
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  • Descriptions: An Annotated Bibliography.Berit Brogaard - 2010 - Oxford Annotated Bibliographies Online.
    Descriptions are phrases of the form ‘an F’, ‘the F’, ‘Fs’, ‘the Fs’ and NP's F (e.g. ‘John's mother’). They can be indefinite (e.g., ‘an F’ and ‘Fs’), definite (e.g. ‘the F’ and ‘the Fs’), singular (e.g., ‘an F’, ‘the F’) or plural (e.g., ‘the Fs’, ‘Fs’). In English plural indefinite descriptions lack an article and are for that reason also known as ‘bare plurals’. How to account for the semantics and pragmatics of descriptions has been one of the central (...)
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  • Scalar Additive Particles in Negative Contexts.Bernhard Schwarz - 2005 - Natural Language Semantics 13 (2):125-168.
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