Unity in the Variety of Quotation

In Ludwig Kirk & Ray Greg (eds.), The Semantics and Pragmatics of Quotation. Springer. pp. 99-134 (2018)
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This chapter argues that while quotation marks are polysemous, the thread that runs through all uses of quotation marks that involve reference to expressions is pure quotation, in which an expression formed by enclosing another expression in quotation marks refers to that enclosed expression. We defend a version of the so-called disquotational theory of pure quotation and show how this device is used in direct discourse and attitude attributions, in exposition in scholarly contexts, and in so-called mixed quotation in indirect discourse and attitude attributions. We argue that uses of quotation marks that extend beyond pure quotation have two features in common. First, the expressions appearing in quotation marks are intended to be understood, and that they are intended to be understood is essential to the function that such quotations play in communication, though this does not always involve the expressions contributing their extensional properties to fixing truth conditions for the sentences in which they appear. Second, they appeal to a relation to the expression appearing in quotation marks that plays a role in determining the truth conditions of the sentences in which they appear.

Author Profiles

Kirk Ludwig
Indiana University, Bloomington
Greg Ray
University of Florida


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