Quotations, Displays & Autonomes

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Abstract
Post-Fregean theorists use 'quotation' to denote indifferently both colloquially called quotations (repetitions of prior utterances) and what I call 'displays': 'Rot' means red. Colloquially, quotation is a strictly historical property, not semantic or syntactic. Displays are semantically and syntactically distinctive sentential elements. Most displays are not quotations. Pure echo quotations (Cosmological arguments involve "an unnecessary shuffle") aren't displays. Frege-inspired formal languages stipulate that enquotation forms a singular term referring to the enquoted expression (type). Formalist enquotations differ semantically and syntactically from natural language displays. Call them autonomes, and mark them with stars: *Rot* means red. In formal languages, an unenstarred expression has only one meaning, and an autonome has only one meaning viz., a name (or indexical) designating the unenstarred expression (type). Stars have semantic content and can’t disambiguate. Display punctuation only disambiguates; it says only: This material is displayed. Displays have a semantic function; their marks don't. Displays are not terms or lexical items. Displays are objects incorporable into utterances. Such incorporation enables them to be linguistically appropriated much as we appropriate speech-external objects by extrasentential supplementation (e.g., gesturing) to identify the extension of a term by ostending the object -- but now without any extrasentential supplement. Displays are always adjunctive to an (implicit or explicit) ostensionable term, a term whose extension is identifiable by ostending an object. The display-ostensionable term-extension relations are various. A display may (1) be the term's referent, or (2) represent the term's extension by (a) replicating or (b) instantiating or (c) expressing the term's referent, or (e) instantiating the property the term predicates.
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Archival date: 2015-11-21
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2009-03-05

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