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Restrictions on Quantifier Domains

Dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1994)

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  1. Coordinating Ifs.Justin Khoo - 2021 - Journal of Semantics 38 (2):341-361.
    Accounting for the behavior of conjoined and disjoined if-clauses is not easy for standard theories of conditionals that treat if as either an operator or restrictor. In this paper, I discuss four observations about coordinated if-clauses, and motivate a semantics for conditionals that reorients the compositional structure of the restrictor theory. On my proposal, if-clauses provide restrictions on modal domains, but they do so by way of a higher type intermediary—a set of propositions—that is collapsed by the modal. I argue (...)
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  • Common Nouns as Modally Non-Rigid Restricted Variables.Peter Lasersohn - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (2):363-424.
    I argue that common nouns should be analyzed as variables, rather than as predicates which take variables as arguments. This necessitates several unusual features to the analysis, such as allowing variables to be modally non-rigid, and assigning their values compositionally. However, treating common nouns as variables offers a variety of theoretical and empirical advantages over a more traditional analysis: It predicts the conservativity of nominal quantification, simplifies the analysis of articleless languages, derives the weak reading of sentences with donkey anaphora, (...)
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  • The Modal Future: A Theory of Future-Directed Thought and Talk.Fabrizio Cariani - 2021 - Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    Provisional draft, pre-production copy of my book “The Modal Future” (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press).
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  • If P, Then P!Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Comparisons of Equality With German so…Wie, and the Relationship Between Degrees and Properties.Vera Hohaus & Malte Zimmermann - 2021 - Journal of Semantics 38 (1):95-143.
    We present a compositionally transparent, unified semantic analysis of two kinds of so…wie-equative constructions in German, namely degree equatives and property equatives in the domain of individuals or events. Unlike in English and many other European languages, both equative types in German feature the parameter marker so, suggesting a unified analysis. We show that the parallel formal expression of German degree and property equatives is accompanied by a parallel syntactic distribution, and by identical semantic properties: Both equative types allow for (...)
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  • Semantics with Assignment Variables.Alex Silk - forthcoming - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    This book combines insights from philosophy and linguistics to develop a novel framework for theorizing about linguistic meaning and the role of context in interpretation. A key innovation is to introduce explicit representations of context — assignment variables — in the syntax and semantics of natural language. The proposed theory systematizes a spectrum of “shifting” phenomena in which the context relevant for interpreting certain expressions depends on features of the linguistic environment. Central applications include local and nonlocal contextual dependencies with (...)
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  • Scalar Additive Particles in Negative Contexts.Bernhard Schwarz - 2005 - Natural Language Semantics 13 (2):125-168.
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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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  • Incomplete Descriptions and Indistinguishable Participants.Paul Elbourne - 2016 - Natural Language Semantics 24 (1):1-43.
    The implicit content associated with incomplete definite descriptions is contributed in the form of definite descriptions of situations. A definite description of this kind is contributed by a small structure in the syntax, which is interpreted, in general terms, as ‘the situation that bears R to s’.
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  • Double-Counting and the Problem of the Many.David Liebesman - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):209-234.
    There is a defeasible constraint against double counting. When I count colours, for instance, I can’t freely count both a colour and its shades. Once we properly grasp this constraint, we can solve the problem of the many. Unlike other solutions, this solution requires us to reject neither our counting judgments, nor the metaphysical principles that seemingly conflict with them. The key is recognizing that the judgments and principles are compatible due to the targeted effects of the defeasible constraint.
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  • Quantification and the Nature of Crosslinguistic Variation.Lisa Matthewson - 2001 - Natural Language Semantics 9 (2):145-189.
    The standard analysis of quantification says that determiner quantifiers (such as every) take an NP predicate and create a generalized quantifier. The goal of this paper is to subject these beliefs to crosslinguistic scrutiny. I begin by showing that in St'á'imcets (Lillooet Salish), quantifiers always require sisters of argumental type, and the creation of a generalized quantifier from an NP predicate always proceeds in two steps rather than one. I then explicitly adopt the strong null hypothesis that the denotations of (...)
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  • 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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  • Variabilism.Samuel Cumming - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (4):525-554.
    Variabilism is the view that proper names (like pronouns) are semantically represented as variables. Referential names, like referential pronouns, are assigned their referents by a contextual variable assignment (Kaplan 1989). The reference parameter (like the world of evaluation) may also be shifted by operators in the representation language. Indeed verbs that create hyperintensional contexts, like ‘think’, are treated as operators that simultaneously shift the world and assignment parameters. By contrast, metaphysical modal operators shift the world of assessment only. Names, being (...)
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  • Explaining the Effect of Morality on Intentionality of Lucky Actions: The Role of Underlying Questions.Kate Falkenstien - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (2):293-308.
    People’s moral judgments affect their judgments of intentionality for actions that succeeded by luck. This article aimed to explain that phenomenon by suggesting that people’s judgments of intentionality are driven by the underlying questions they have considered. We examined two types of questions: questions about why people act, and questions about how they succeed in acting. In a series of experiments, we found that people prefer different questions for neutral and immoral actions (Studies 1 and 2) and that asking them (...)
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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 Note on Conditionals and Restrictors.Daniel Rothschild - manuscript
    This note relates the Lewis/Kratzer view of conditionals as restrictors to the philosophical debate over the meaning of conditionals.
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  • Judge-Dependence in Degree Constructions: Table 1.Lisa Bylinina - 2016 - Journal of Semantics:ffw011.
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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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  • Explaining Presupposition Projection with Dynamic Semantics.Daniel Rothschild - 2011 - Semantics and Pragmatics 4 (3):1-43.
    Presents a version of dynamic semantics for a language with presuppositions that predicts basic facts about presupposition projection in a non-stipulative way.
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  • Generic Passages.Greg N. Carlson & Beverly Spejewski - 1997 - Natural Language Semantics 5 (2):101-165.
    This paper examines a type of discourse structure we here call ‘generic passages’. We argue that generic passages should be analyzed as sequences of generic sentences, each sentence containing its own GEN operator (Krifka et al. 1995). The GEN operators produce tripartite matrix/restrictor structures; the main discourse connection among the sentences is that the restrictor produced by each sentence in the sequence has as its contents the information in the matrix produced by the previous sentence in the discourse. We also (...)
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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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  • Semantics of DP Islands: The Case of Questions.Alexandra Simonenko - 2015 - Journal of Semantics:ffv011.
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  • How Indefinites Choose Their Scope.Adrian Brasoveanu & Donka F. Farkas - 2011 - Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (1):1-55.
    The paper proposes a novel solution to the problem of scope posed by natural language indefinites that captures both the difference in scopal freedom between indefinites and bona fide quantifiers and the syntactic sensitivity that the scope of indefinites does nevertheless exhibit. Following the main insight of choice functional approaches, we connect the special scopal properties of indefinites to the fact that their semantics can be stated in terms of choosing a suitable witness. This is in contrast to bona fide (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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