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  1. Confidence Reports.Fabrizio Cariani, Paolo Santorio & Alexis Wellwood - manuscript
    We advocate and develop a states-based semantics for both nominal and adjectival confidence reports, as in "Ann is confident/has confidence that it's raining", and their comparatives "Ann is more confident/has more confidence that it's raining than that it's snowing". Other examples of adjectives that can report confidence include "sure" and "certain". Our account adapts Wellwood's account of adjectival comparatives in which the adjectives denote properties of states, and measure functions are introduced compositionally. We further explore the prospects of applying these (...)
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  2. Pictorial language and linguistics.Emar Maier - manuscript
    A language is a system of signs used for communication, and linguists are tasked with, among other things, uncovering the syntax and semantics of such systems. In this paper I explore to what extent pictures fit this characterization of a language and hence would fall within the domain of linguistics. I conclude that at the very least there are well-defined systems of depiction for which we can give a precise semantics, in a familiar possible worlds framework, although pictorial propositions are (...)
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  3. Modals, Contextual Parameters, and the Modal Uniformity Hypothesis.Daniel Skibra - manuscript
    There is a common assumption in the semantics of modal auxiliaries in natural language; in utterances of MOD φ , where MOD is a modal and φ is the prejacent, context determines the particular flavor of modality expressed by the modal. Such is the standard contextualist semantics of Kratzer and related proposals. This winds up being a problem, because there is a significant class of modals which have constraints on the admissible modal flavor that are not traceable to context. For (...)
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  4. Positive gradable adjective ascriptions without positive morphemes.Fabrizio Cariani, Paolo Santorio & Alexis Wellwood - forthcoming - Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 2023.
    A long-standing tension in semantic theory concerns the reconciliation of positive gradable adjective (GA) ascriptions and comparative GA ascriptions. Vagueness-based ap- proaches derive the comparative from the positive, and face non-trivial challenges with incommensurability and non-GA comparatives. Classic degree-based approaches effectively derive the positive from the comparative, out of sync with the direction of evidence from morphology, and create some difficulties in accounting for GA scale-mates with differing thresholds (e.g., cold ∼ warm ∼ hot). We propose a new reconciliation that (...)
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  5. Super Pragmatics of (linguistic-)pictorial discourse.Julian J. Schlöder & Daniel Altshuler - 2023 - Linguistics and Philosophy 46 (4):693-746.
    Recent advances in the Super Linguistics of pictures have laid the Super Semantic foundation for modelling the phenomena of narrative sequencing and co-reference in pictorial and mixed linguistic-pictorial discourses. We take up the question of how one arrives at the pragmatic interpretations of such discourses. In particular, we offer an analysis of: (i) the discourse composition problem: how to represent the joint meaning of a multi-picture discourse, (ii) observed differences in narrative sequencing in prima facie equivalent linguistic vs pictorial discourses, (...)
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  6. Predicación y referencia.Tomas Barrero - 2021 - In Angel Rivera-Novoa & Andres Buriticá (eds.), Imágenes de la mente y el conocimiento. Universidad Nacional de Colombia. pp. 73-100.
    A partir de una discusión de la gramática lógica de Davidson para oraciones de acción, propongo una caracterización funcional de la predicación y la referencia como estructuras semánticas. En contradicción con Davidson y apoyado por sugerencias de Strawson, Evans y Chomsky sostendré que la distinción entre oraciones de acción y otras oraciones no reside en la introducción de un nuevo tipo de objetos de referencia que permitan la aplicación de predicados especiales. Dichas oraciones, sostendré, son casos paradigmáticos de una nueva (...)
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  7. Building complex events: the case of Sicilian Doubly Inflected Construction.Fabio Del Prete & Giuseppina Todaro - 2020 - Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 38 (1):1-41.
    We examine the Doubly Inflected Construction of Sicilian (DIC; Cardinaletti and Giusti 2001, 2003, Cruschina 2013), in which a motion verb V1 from a restricted set is followed by an event verb V2 and both verbs are inflected for the same person and tense features. The interpretation of DIC involves a complex event which behaves as a single, integrated event by linguistic tests. Based on data drawn from different sources, we argue that DIC is an asymmetrical serial verb construction (Aikhenvald (...)
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  8. The Structure of Truth.Cameron Kirk-Giannini & Ernie Lepore (eds.) - 2020 - Oxford University Press.
    This book marks the first publication of celebrated philosopher Donald Davidson's 1970 Locke Lectures. In detailing his work on the theory of meaning, the role of a truth theory, the ontological commitments of a truth theory, and the notion of logical form, these lectures offer a rare insight into Davidson's thought at a key moment in his career.
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  9. Attitudinal Objects: their Ontology and Importance for Philosophy and Natural Language Semantics.Friederike Moltmann - 2019 - In Brian Brian & Christoph Schuringa (eds.), The Notion of Judgment: Routledge Studies in Contemporary Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 180-201.
    This paper argues for the philosophical and semantic importance of attitudinal objects, entities such as judgments, claims, beliefs, demands, and desires, as an ontological category distinct from that of events and states and from that of propositions. The paper presents significant revisions and refinements of the notion of an attitudinal object as it was developed in my previous work.
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  10. Intensional Relative Clauses and the Semantics of Variable Objects.Friederike Moltmann - 2018 - In Manfred Krifka & Schenner Mathias (eds.), Reconstruction Effects in Relative Clauses. Berlin: De Gruyter. pp. 427-453..
    NPs with intensional relative clauses such as 'the book John needs to write' pose a significant challenge for semantic theory. Such NPs act like referential terms, yet they do not stand for a particular actual object. This paper will develop a semantic analysis of such NPs on the basis of the notion of a variable object. The analysis avoids a range of difficulties that a more standard analysis based on the notion of an individual concept would face. Most importantly, unlike (...)
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  11. Out of Nothing.Daniele Sgaravatti & Giuseppe Spolaore - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy (2):132-138.
    Graham Priest proposed an argument for the conclusion that ‘nothing’ occurs as a singular term and not as a quantifier in a sentence like (1) ‘The cosmos came into existence out of nothing’. Priest's point is that, intuitively, (1) entails (C) ‘The cosmos came into existence at some time’, but this entailment relation is left unexplained if ‘nothing’ is treated as a quantifier. If Priest is right, the paradoxical notion of an object that is nothing plays a role in our (...)
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  12. Commitment and states of mind with mood and modality.Alex Silk - 2018 - Natural Language Semantics 26 (2):125-166.
    This paper develops an account of mood selection with attitude predicates in French. I start by examining the “contextual commitment” account of mood developed by Portner and Rubinstein Proceedings of SALT 22, CLC Publications, Ithaca, NY, pp 461–487, 2012). A key innovation of Portner and Rubinstein’s account is to treat mood selection as fundamentally depending on a relation between individuals’ attitudes and the predicate’s modal backgrounds. I raise challenges for P&R’s qualitative analysis of contextual commitment and explanations of mood selection. (...)
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  13. Covert distributivity in algebraic event semantics.Lucas Champollion - 2016 - Semantics and Pragmatics 9 (15):1-66.
    This is the first in a pair of papers that aim to provide a comprehensive analysis of the semantic phenomenon of distributivity in natural language. This paper investigates and formalizes different sources of covert distributivity. Apart from lexical distributivity effects, which are modeled by meaning postulates, phrasal distributivity is captured via two covert operators: (i) a D operator distributing over atoms only (Link 1987), and (ii) a cover-based Part operator, which can also distribute over non-atomic pluralities under contextual licensing (Schwarzschild (...)
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  14. Acción y construcción lógica.Tomás Barrero - 2013 - Critica 45 (133):3-26.
    By considering Davidson’s analysis of prepositions as defining individual events predicates, I argue against his semantics for action sentences and stress some logico-linguistic puzzles concerning both the interpretive pretension and the referential indifference of this proposal. Inspired by Evans as well as by Grice, I advance another interpretive semantics for those cases which does not take as assumption the individual character of events and argue for a constructivist approach to events in action discourse.
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  15. On the Distinction between Abstract States, Concrete States, and Tropes.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - In and Fabio Del Prete C. Beyssade /Alda Mari (ed.), Genericity. Oxford University Press. pp. 292-311.
    This paper defends a distinction between ‘abstract states’ and ‘concrete states’, following Maienborn (2005, 2007) in her account of the peculiar semantic behavior of stative verbs. The paper proposes an ontological account of the notion of an abstract state and discusses how it relates to the notion of a trope or particularized property, which has so far been neglected in the semantic literature on stative verbs.
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  16. Degree structure as trope structure: a trope-based analysis of positive and comparative adjectives.Friederike Moltmann - 2009 - Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (1):51-94.
    This paper explores a novel analysis of adjectives in the comparative and the positive based on the notion of a trope, rather than the notion of a degree. Tropes are particularized properties, concrete manifestations of properties in individuals. The point of departure is that a sentence like ‘John is happier than Mary’ is intuitively equivalent to ‘John’s happiness exceeds Mary’s happiness’, a sentence that expresses a simple comparison between two tropes, John’s happiness and Mary’s happiness. The analysis received particular support (...)
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  17. The Benefits of Realism: A Realist Logic with Applications.Barry Smith - 2008 - In Katherine Munn & Barry Smith (eds.), Applied Ontology: An Introduction. Ontos. pp. 109-124.
    We propose a formalization of a realist ontology using first order logic with identity and allowing quantification over terms representing both individuals and universals. In addition to identity, the ontology includes also relational predicates such as subtype, instantiation, parthood, location, and inherence. Inspired in part by Davidson’s treatment of events, the ontology includes also various relations linking events to their participants and to the times at which they occur.
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  18. Events, tropes, and truthmaking.Friederike Moltmann - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 134 (3):363-403.
    Nominalizations are expressions that are particularly challenging philosophically in that they help form singular terms that seem to refer to abstract or derived objects often considered controversial. The three standard views about the semantics of nominalizations are [1] that they map mere meanings onto objects, [2] that they refer to implicit arguments, and [3] that they introduce new objects, in virtue of their compositional semantics. In the second case, nominalizations do not add anything new but pick up objects that would (...)
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  19. Event Location and Vagueness.Andrea Borghini & Achille C. Varzi - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 128 (2):313-336.
    Most event-referring expressions are vague; it is utterly difficult, if not impossible, to specify the exact spatiotemporal location of an event from the words that we use to refer to it. We argue that in spite of certain prima facie obstacles, such vagueness can be given a purely semantic (broadly supervaluational) account.
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  20. How Serious is our Ontological Commitment to Events as Individuals?Luiz Henrique de A. Dutra - 2005 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 9 (1-2):43-71.
    This paper aims at discussing the usage by Davidson as to events of Quine's criterion of ontological commitment. According to Davidson, we are ontologically committed to the existence of events as individuals as we employ literally terms such as ‘Caesar’s death’, for instance. Davidson extends this analysis to actions as well, since actions are human events. One of the consequences of this view is that psychology deals with individual events in a non-lawful way. An alternative view is here proposed, based (...)
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  21. Speaking of events.James Higginbotham, Fabio Pianesi & Achille C. Varzi (eds.) - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    The idea that an adequate semantics of ordinary language calls for some theory of events has sparked considerable debate among linguists and philosophers. On the one hand, so many linguistic phenomena appear to be explained if (and, according to some authors, only if) we make room for logical forms in which reference to or quantification over events is explicitly featured. Examples include nominalization, adverbial modification, tense and aspect, plurals, and singular causal statements. On the other hand, a number of deep (...)
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  22. Events and Event Talk: An Introduction.Fabio Pianesi & Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - In James Higginbotham, Fabio Pianesi & Achille C. Varzi (eds.), Speaking of Events. Oxford University Press. pp. 3–47.
    A critical review of the main themes arising out of recent literature on the semantics of ordinary event talk. The material is organized in four sections: (i) the nature of events, with emphasis on the opposition between events as particulars and events as universals; (ii) identity and indeterminacy, with emphasis on the unifier/multiplier controversy; (iii) events and logical form, with emphasis on Davidson’s treatment of the form of action sentences; (iv) linguistic applications, with emphasis on issues concerning aspectual phenomena, the (...)
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  23. The Context-Dependency of Temporal Reference in Event Semantics.Fabio Pianesi & Achille C. Varzi - 1999 - In Paolo Bouquet, Patrick Brezillon, Francesca Castellani & Luciano Serafini (eds.), in Modeling and Using Context. Proceedings of the Second International and Interdisciplinary Conference. Springer. pp. 507–510.
    Temporal reference in natural language is inherently context dependent: what counts as a moment in one context may be structurally analysed in another context, and vice versa. In this note we outline a way of accounting for this phenomenon within event-based semantics.
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  24. Activities: States or Events?Carlota S. Smith - 1999 - Linguistics and Philosophy 22 (5):479-508.
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  25. Proceedings of NELS 26.Jill Beckman (ed.) - 1997 - GLSA, UMass Amhert.
  26. Illusive Scope of Universal Quantifiers.Danny Fox & Uli Sauerland - 1997 - In Jill Beckman (ed.), Proceedings of NELS 26. GLSA, UMass Amhert.
    It is widely believed that existential quantifiers can bring about the semantic effects of a scope which is wider than their actual syntactic scope (See Fodor & Sag (1982), Cresti (1995), Kratzer (1995), Reinhart (1995) and Winter (1995), among many others.) On the other hand, it is assumed that the syntactic scope of universal quantifiers can be determined unequivocally by the semantics. This paper shows that this second assumption is wrong; universal quantifiers can also bring about scope illusions, though in (...)
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  27. Putting the World Back into Semantics.Barry Smith - 1993 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 44 (1):91-109.
    To what in reality do the logically simple sentences with empirical content correspond? Two extreme positions can be distinguished in this regard: 'Great Fact' theories, such as are defended by Davidson; and trope-theories, which see such sentences being made the simply by those events or states to which the relevant main verbs correspond. A position midway between these two extremes is defended, one according to which sentences of the given sort are made tme by what are called 'dependence structures', or (...)
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  28. Projeter-alpha ou la langue cachée.Pierre Pica - 1992 - In Liliane Tasmowksi & Anne Zribi-Hertz (eds.), De la musique à la linguistique. Hommages à Nicolas Ruwet. Communication & Cognition.
    The article shows that the arugument of a verb can be projected in diffrent ways according to the meaning (agentive or not) of the predicate. An analysis is developed which suggests a modification of the projection principle according to which this principle is in part an interpretative principle, not a principle of the core grammmar.
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  29. Nominal and Clausal Event Predicates.Friederike Moltmann - unknown
    In this paper, I argue that not only PPs and adverbs can act as predicates of the event argument of the verb, but certain NPs and certain clauses can, as well. I will give syntactic and semantic arguments that NPs that are cognate objects and clauses of (at least some) nonbridge verbs are optional predicates of the event argument of the verb. With respect to clauses, I will argue that for independent reasons the meaning of both independent and embedded sentences (...)
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