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Semantic with Assignment Variables

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (forthcoming)

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  1. Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):278-279.
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  • A Counterexample to Modus Tollens.Seth Yalcin - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (6):1001-1024.
    This paper defends a counterexample to Modus Tollens, and uses it to draw some conclusions about the logic and semantics of indicative conditionals and probability operators in natural language. Along the way we investigate some of the interactions of these expressions with 'knows', and we call into question the thesis that all knowledge ascriptions have truth-conditions.
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  • Semantics and Metasemantics in the Context of Generative Grammar.Seth Yalcin - 2014 - In Alexis Burgess & Brett Sherman (eds.), Metasemantics: New Essays on the Foundations of Meaning. Oxford University Press. pp. 17-54.
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  • Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
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  • Semantic Analysis of Wh-Complements.Joroen Groenendijk & Martin Stokhof - 1982 - Linguistics and Philosophy 5 (2):175 - 233.
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  • Formal Properties of 'Now'.Hans Kamp - 1971 - Theoria 37 (3):227-273.
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  • Assessment Sensitivity: Relative Truth and its Applications.John MacFarlane - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    John MacFarlane explores how we might make sense of the idea that truth is relative. He provides new, satisfying accounts of parts of our thought and talk that have resisted traditional methods of analysis, including what we mean when we talk about what is tasty, what we know, what will happen, what might be the case, and what we ought to do.
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  • Index, Context, and Content.David K. Lewis - 1980 - In Stig Kanger & Sven Öhman (eds.), Philosophy and Grammar. Reidel. pp. 79-100.
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  • Reference and Monstrosity.Paolo Santorio - 2012 - Philosophical Review 121 (3):359-406.
    According to the orthodox account developed by Kaplan, indexicals like I, you, and now invariably refer to elements of the context of speech. This essay argues that the orthodoxy is wrong. I, you, and the like are shifted by certain modal operators and hence can fail to refer to elements of the context, for example, I can fail to refer to the speaker. More precisely, indexicals are syntactically akin to logical variables. They can be free, in which case they work, (...)
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  • A Plea for Monsters.Philippe Schlenker - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 26 (1):29-120.
    Kaplan claims in Demonstratives that no operator may manipulate the context of evaluation of natural language indexicals. We show that this is not so. In fact, attitude reports always manipulate a context parameter (or, rather, a context variable). This is shown by (i) the existence of De Se readings of attitude reports in English (which Kaplan has no account for), and (ii) the existence of a variety of indexicals across languages whose point of evaluation can be shifted, but only in (...)
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  • Context.Robert Stalnaker - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Robert Stalnaker explores the contexts in which speech takes place, the ways we represent them, and the roles they play in explaining the interpretation and dynamics of speech. His central thesis is the autonomy of pragmatics: the independence of theory about structure and function of discourse from theory about mechanisms serving those functions.
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  • Monsters in Kaplan’s Logic of Demonstratives.Brian Rabern - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (2):393-404.
    Kaplan (1989a) insists that natural languages do not contain displacing devices that operate on character—such displacing devices are called monsters. This thesis has recently faced various empirical challenges (e.g., Schlenker 2003; Anand and Nevins 2004). In this note, the thesis is challenged on grounds of a more theoretical nature. It is argued that the standard compositional semantics of variable binding employs monstrous operations. As a dramatic first example, Kaplan’s formal language, the Logic of Demonstratives, is shown to contain monsters. For (...)
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  • Semantics in Generative Grammar.Irene Heim & Angelika Kratzer - 1998 - Blackwell.
    Written by two of the leading figures in the field, this is a lucid and systematic introduction to semantics as applied to transformational grammars of the ...
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  • The Linguistic Description of Opaque Contexts.Janet Dean Fodor - 1970 - Garland.
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  • Variabilism.Sam 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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  • The Progressive and Verbs of Creation.Alex Silk - 2016 - Journal of Semantics 33 (1):19-48.
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  • Word and Object.W. QUINE - 1960 - MIT Press.
    In the course of the discussion, Professor Quine pinpoints the difficulties involved in translation, brings to light the anomalies and conflicts implicit in our ...
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  • Presupposition and Assertion in Dynamic Semantics.David I. Beaver - 2001 - CSLI Publications.
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  • Word and Object.W. V. Quine - 1960 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 22 (1):115-116.
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  • Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics.Henry M. Hoenigswald & John Lyons - 1971 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 91 (4):564.
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  • Adverbs of Quantification.David K. Lewis - 1975 - In Edward L. Keenan (ed.), Formal Semantics of Natural Language. Cambridge University Press. pp. 178--188.
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  • On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    This book is a defense of modal realism; the thesis that our world is but one of a plurality of worlds, and that the individuals that inhabit our world are only a few out of all the inhabitants of all the worlds. Lewis argues that the philosophical utility of modal realism is a good reason for believing that it is true.
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  • Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.
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  • Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.
    Epistemic modal operators give rise to something very like, but also very unlike, Moore's paradox. I set out the puzzling phenomena, explain why a standard relational semantics for these operators cannot handle them, and recommend an alternative semantics. A pragmatics appropriate to the semantics is developed and interactions between the semantics, the pragmatics, and the definition of consequence are investigated. The semantics is then extended to probability operators. Some problems and prospects for probabilistic representations of content and context are explored.
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  • Some Structural Analogies Between Tenses and Pronouns in English.Barbara Hall Partee - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (18):601-609.
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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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  • Attitudes de Dicto and de Se.David Lewis - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (4):513-543.
    t f I hear the patter of little feet around the house, I expect Bruce. What I expect is a cat, a particular cat. If I heard such a patter in another house, I might expect a cat but no particular cat. What I expect then seems to be a Meinongian incomplete cat. I expect winter, expect stormy weather, expect to shovel snow, expect fatigue — a season, a phenomenon, an activity, a state. I expect that someday mankind will inhabit (...)
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  • On the Interpretation of Alienable Vs. Inalienable Possession: A Psycholinguistic Investigation.Frantisek Lichtenberk, Jyotsna Vaid & Hsin-Chin Chen - 2011 - Cognitive Linguistics 22 (4).
    Oceanic languages typically make a grammatical contrast between expres- sions of alienable and inalienable possession. Moreover, further distinctions are made in the alienable category but not in the inalienable category. The present research tests the hypothesis that there is a good motivation for such a development in the former case. As English does not have a grammaticalized distinction between alienable and inalienable possession, it provides a good testing ground. Three studies were conducted. In Study 1, participants were asked to write (...)
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  • Ontological Symmetry in Language: A Brief Manifesto.Philippe Schlenker - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (4):504–539.
    In the tradition of quantified modal logic, it was assumed that significantly different linguistic systems underlie reference to individuals, to times and to 'possible worlds'. Various results from recent research in formal semantics suggest that this is not so, and that there is in fact a pervasive symmetry between the linguistic means with which we refer to these three domains. Reference to individuals, times and worlds is uniformly effected through generalized quantifiers, definite descriptions, and pronouns, and in each domain grammatical (...)
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  • The Definiteness Effect: Semantics or Pragmatics? [REVIEW]Ed Keenan - 2003 - Natural Language Semantics 11 (2):187-216.
    In this paper I propose and defend a semantically based account of the distribution of DPs in existential there-sentences in English in opposition to the pragmatic account proposed in Zucchi (1995). The two analyses share many features, making it possible to study variation along the semantics/pragmatics dimension while holding the rest constant.
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  • Restrictions on Quantifier Domains.Kai von Fintel - 1994 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    This dissertation investigates the ways in which natural language restricts the domains of quantifiers. Adverbs of quantification are analyzed as quantifying over situations. The domain of quantifiers is pragmatically constrained: apparent processes of "semantic partition" are treated as pragmatic epiphenomena. The introductory Chapter 1 sketches some of the background of work on natural language quantification and begins the analysis of adverbial quantification over situations. Chapter 2 develops the central picture of "semantic partition" as a side-effect of pragmatic processes of anaphora (...)
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  • Question Embedding and the Semantics of Answers.Benjamin Ross George - 2011 - Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
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  • The Dynamics of Vagueness.Chris Barker - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (1):1-36.
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  • Anaphora and Dynamic Binding.Gennaro Chierchia - 1992 - Linguistics and Philosophy 15 (2):111--183.
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  • Intensionality and Context Change.Gennaro Chierchia - 1994 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 3 (2):141-168.
    It is arguably desirable to have a theory of meaning that (i) does not identify propositions with sets of worlds, (ii) enables to capture the dynamic character of semantic interpretation and (iii) provides the basis for a semantic program that incorporates and extends the achievements of Montague semantics. A theory of properties and propositions that meets these desiderata is developed and several applications to the semantic analysis of natural languages are explored.
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  • An Aspectual Analysis of Ditransitive Verbs of Caused Possession in English.J. Beavers - 2011 - Journal of Semantics 28 (1):1-54.
    In this article I examine ditransitive verbs that can describe caused possession (e.g. give, throw, send) by looking at their lexical aspectual properties, a methodology that has proved fruitful for the exploration of (in)transitive verbs. I show that as a whole these ditransitives share a number of aspectual properties in common with (in)transitive verbs of change of state and motion, suggesting a single shared underlying analysis, which I outline in terms of the scalar analysis of change of Beavers (forthcoming b). (...)
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  • What We Know and What to Do.Nate Charlow - 2013 - Synthese 190 (12):2291-2323.
    This paper discusses an important puzzle about the semantics of indicative conditionals and deontic necessity modals (should, ought, etc.): the Miner Puzzle (Parfit, ms; Kolodny and MacFarlane, J Philos 107:115–143, 2010). Rejecting modus ponens for the indicative conditional, as others have proposed, seems to solve a version of the puzzle, but is actually orthogonal to the puzzle itself. In fact, I prove that the puzzle arises for a variety of sophisticated analyses of the truth-conditions of indicative conditionals. A comprehensive solution (...)
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  • Conditionals as Definite Descriptions.Schlenker Philippe - unknown
    Lewis 1973 observed that his logic for counterfactuals could be applied to definite descriptions. His generalization was that the latter display the same non-monotonic patterns as the former, contrary to what Russellian or Strawsonian accounts would predict. We take Lewis's suggestion literally and suggest that ‘if' should be analyzed as the word ‘the' applied to a description of possible worlds. We do not follow Lewis's own implementation, however, for it entails that definite descriptions do not refer. Rather, we use von (...)
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  • Local Contexts and Local Meanings.Philippe Schlenker - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (1):115-142.
    Stalnaker ( 1978 ) made two seminal claims about presuppositions. The most influential one was that presupposition projection is computed by a pragmatic mechanism based on a notion of ‘local context’ . Due to conceptual and technical difficulties, however, the latter notion was reinterpreted in purely semantic terms within ‘dynamic semantics’ (Heim 1983 ). The second claim was that some instances of presupposition generation should also be explained in pragmatic terms . But despite various attempts, the definition of a precise (...)
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  • Assertion.Robert Stalnaker - 1978 - Syntax and Semantics (New York Academic Press) 9:315-332.
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  • Ifs and Oughts.Niko Kolodny & John MacFarlane - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (3):115-143.
    We consider a paradox involving indicative conditionals (‘ifs’) and deontic modals (‘oughts’). After considering and rejecting several standard options for resolv- ing the paradox—including rejecting various premises, positing an ambiguity or hidden contextual sensitivity, and positing a non-obvious logical form—we offer a semantics for deontic modals and indicative conditionals that resolves the paradox by making modus ponens invalid. We argue that this is a result to be welcomed on independent grounds, and we show that rejecting the general validity of modus (...)
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  • The Semantics of Definite and Indefinite Noun Phrases.Irene Heim - 1982 - Dissertation, UMass Amherst
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  • Good News About the Description Theory of Names.Bart Geurts - 1997 - Journal of Semantics 14 (4):319-348.
    This is an attempt at reviving Kneale's version of the description theory of names, which says that a proper name is synonymous with a definite description of the form ‘the individual named so-and-so’. To begin with, I adduce a wide range of observations to show that names and overt definites are alike in all relevant respects. I then turn to Kripke's main objection against Kneale's proposal, and endeavour to refute it. In the remainder of the paper I elaborate on Kneale's (...)
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  • You Can Call Me 'Stupid', ... Just Don't Call Me Stupid.Delia Graff Fara - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):492-501.
    In this paper I argue that names are predicates when they occur in the appellation position of 'called'-predications. This includes not only proper names, but all names -- including quote-names of proper names and quote-names of other words or phrases. Thus in "You can call me Al", the proper name 'Al' is a predicate. And in "You can call me 'Al'," the quote-name of 'Al' -- namely ' 'Al' ' -- is also a predicate.
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  • Conditional Questions.J. Isaacs & K. Rawlins - 2008 - Journal of Semantics 25 (3):269-319.
    This paper provides an analysis of conditional questions (CQs) that combines a dynamic semantics for conditionals with a partition semantics for questions. We propose that CQs are interpreted in two steps. First, a temporary context is created in which the propositional content of the antecedent is obtained. Second, the question in the consequent is asked relative to this temporary context. Subsequent answers are then asserted relative to the temporary context. Our analysis also has a pragmatic component. Previous analyses have augmented (...)
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  • Acquiring the Meaning of Free Relative Clauses and Plural Definite Descriptions.I. Caponigro, L. Pearl, N. Brooks & D. Barner - 2012 - Journal of Semantics 29 (2):261-293.
    Plural definite descriptions (e.g. the things on the plate) and free relative clauses (e.g. what is on the plate) have been argued to share the same semantic properties, despite their syntactic differences. Specifically, both have been argued to be non-quantificational expressions referring to the maximal element of a given set (e.g. the set of things on the contextually salient plate). We provide experimental support for this semantic analysis with the first reported simultaneous investigation of children’s interpretation of both constructions, highlighting (...)
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  • Real Conditionals. [REVIEW]Brian Weatherson - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (4):609-611.
    Over the last two decades, William Lycan’s work on the semantics of conditionals has been distinguished by his careful attention to the connection between syntax and semantics, and more generally by his impeccable methodology. Lycan takes compositionality seriously, so he requires that the meaning of compound expressions like ‘even if’ be a combination of the constituent expressions, here ‘even’ and ‘if’. After reading his work, it’s hard to take seriously work that does not share this methodology.
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  • On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Noûs 23 (1):117-125.
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  • On The Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Philosophical Quarterly 38 (151):222-240.
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  • On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
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