Demonstratives, Definite Descriptions and Non-redundancy

Philosophical Studies:1-26 (forthcoming)
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Abstract
In some sentences, demonstratives can be substituted with definite descriptions without any change in meaning. In light of this, many have maintained that demonstratives are just a type of definite description. However, several theorists have drawn attention to a range of cases where definite descriptions are acceptable, but their demonstrative counterparts are not. Some have tried to account for this data by appealing to presupposition. I argue that such presuppositional approaches are problematic, and present a pragmatic account of the target contrasts. On this approach, demonstratives take two arguments and generally require that the first, covert argument is non-redundant with respect to the second, overt argument. I derive this condition through an economy principle discussed by Schlenker (2005).
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Archival date: 2018-10-04
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The Reference Book.Hawthorne, John & Manley, David
On Quantifier Domain Restriction.Stanley, Jason & Szabó, Zoltán Gendler
On Quantifier Domain Restriction.Stanley, Jason & Gendler Szabó, Zoltan

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