How to Refer: Objective Context vs. Intentional Context

In P. Blackburn, C. Ghidini, R. Turner & F. Giunchiglia (eds.), Proceedings of the Fourth International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Modeling and Using Context (Context'03), Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, Vol. 2680. Springer (2003)
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Abstract

In "Demonstratives" Kaplan claims that the occurrence of a demonstrative must be supplemented by an act of demonstration, like a pointing (a feature of the objective context). Conversely in "After-thoughts" Kaplan argues that the occurrence of a demonstrative must be supplemented by a directing intention (a feature of the intentional con-text). I present the two theories in competition and try to identify the constraints an intention must satisfy in order to have semantic rele-vance. My claim is that the analysis of demonstrative reference pro-vides a reliable test for our intuitions on the relation between objective and intentional context. I argue that the speaker's intentions can play a semantic role only if they satisfy an Availability Constraint: an inten-tion must be made available or communicated to the addressee, and for that purpose the speaker can exploit any feature of the objective con-text. This thesis implies the reconciliation between "Demonstratives" and "Afterthoughts"

Author's Profile

Claudia Bianchi
Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele (Milan)

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