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On the Projection Problem for Presuppositions

In P. Portner & B. H. Partee (eds.), Formal Semantics - the Essential Readings. Blackwell. pp. 249--260 (1983)

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  1. Oddness, Modularity, and Exhaustification.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2021 - Natural Language Semantics 29 (1):115-158.
    According to the `grammatical account', scalar implicatures are triggered by a covert exhaustification operator present in logical form. This account covers considerable empirical ground, but there is a peculiar pattern that resists treatment given its usual implementation. The pattern centers on odd assertions like #"Most lions are mammals" and #"Some Italians come from a beautiful country", which seem to trigger implicatures in contexts where the enriched readings conflict with information in the common ground. Magri (2009, 2011) argues that, to account (...)
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  • Formulating Moral Error Theory.Caleb Perl - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy 119 (5):279-288.
    This paper shows how to formulate moral error theories given a contextualist semantics like the one that Angelika Kratzer pioneered, answering the concerns that Christine Tiefensee developed.
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  • Conditional Collapse.Sam Carter - forthcoming - Mind.
    Indicative and subjunctive conditionals are in non-complimentary distribution: there are conversational contexts at which both are licensed (Stalnaker (1975), Karttunen & Peters (1979), von Fintel (1998)). This means we can ask an important, but under-explored, question: in contexts which license both, what relations hold between the two? -/- In this paper, I’ll argue for an initially surprising conclusion: when attention is restricted to the relevant contexts, indicatives and subjunctives are co-entailing. §1 introduces the indicative/subjunctive distinction, along with a discussion of (...)
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  • The Logicality of Language: A New Take on Triviality, “Ungrammaticality”, and Logical Form.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2019 - Noûs 53 (4):785-818.
    Recent work in formal semantics suggests that the language system includes not only a structure building device, as standardly assumed, but also a natural deductive system which can determine when expressions have trivial truth-conditions (e.g., are logically true/false) and mark them as unacceptable. This hypothesis, called the `logicality of language', accounts for many acceptability patterns, including systematic restrictions on the distribution of quantifiers. To deal with apparent counter-examples consisting of acceptable tautologies and contradictions, the logicality of language is often paired (...)
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  • Descriptive As Ifs.Justin Bledin & Sadhwi Srinivas - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-48.
    This is the first part of a larger project that aims to develop a cross-categorical semantic account of a broad range of as if constructions in English. In this paper, we focus on descriptive uses of as if with regular truth-conditional content. The core proposal is that as if-phrases contribute hypothetical and comparative properties of situations, which are instantiated by an event, state, or larger situation when it resembles in some relevant respect its counterparts in selected stereotypical worlds described by (...)
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  • E-Type Pronouns and Donkey Anaphora.Irene Heim - 1990 - Linguistics and Philosophy 13 (2):137--77.
  • What Projects and Why.Mandy Simons, David Beaver, Judith Tonhauser & Craige Roberts - 2010 - Semantics and Linguistic Theory 20:309-327.
    The empirical phenomenon at the center of this paper is projection, which we define (uncontroversially) as follows: (1) Definition of projection An implication projects if and only if it survives as an utterance implication when the expression that triggers the implication occurs under the syntactic scope of an entailment-cancelling operator. Projection is observed, for example, with utterances containing aspectual verbs like stop, as shown in (2) and (3) with examples from English and Paraguayan Guaraní (Paraguay, Tupí-Guaraní).1 The Guaraní example in (...)
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  • Definiteness and Determinacy.Elizabeth Coppock & David Beaver - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (5):377-435.
    This paper distinguishes between definiteness and determinacy. Definiteness is seen as a morphological category which, in English, marks a uniqueness presupposition, while determinacy consists in denoting an individual. Definite descriptions are argued to be fundamentally predicative, presupposing uniqueness but not existence, and to acquire existential import through general type-shifting operations that apply not only to definites, but also indefinites and possessives. Through these shifts, argumental definite descriptions may become either determinate or indeterminate. The latter option is observed in examples like (...)
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  • Presupposition.David I. Beaver - 1997 - In Johan van Bentham & Alice ter Meulen (eds.), Handbook of Logic and Language. MIT Press.
    We discuss presupposition, the phenomenon whereby speakers mark linguistically the information that is presupposed or taken for granted, rather than being part of the main propositional content of a speech act. Expressions and constructions carrying presuppositions are called “presupposition triggers”, forming a large class including definites and factive verbs. The article first introduces the range of triggers, the basic properties of presuppositions such as projection and cancellability, and the diagnostic tests used to identify them. The reader is then introducedto major (...)
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  • A Partial Account of Presupposition Projection.David Beaver & Emiel Krahmer - 2001 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 10 (2):147-182.
    In this paper it is shown how a partial semantics for presuppositions can be given which is empirically more satisfactory than its predecessors, and how this semantics can be integrated with a technically sound, compositional grammar in the Montagovian fashion. Additionally, it is argued that the classical objection to partial accounts of presupposition projection, namely that they lack “flexibility,” is based on a misconception. Partial logics can give rise to flexible predictions without postulating any ad hoc ambiguities. Finally, it is (...)
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  • Presupposition and Partiality: Back to the Future.David Beaver & Emiel Krahmer - 1998 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 10 (2):147-182.
    In this paper it is shown how a partial semantics for presuppositions can be given which is empirically more satisfactory than its predecessors, and how this semantics can be integrated with a technically sound, compositional grammar in the Montagovian fashion. Additionally, it is argued that the classical objection to partial accounts of presupposition projection, namely that they lack “flexibility,” is based on a misconception. Partial logics can give rise to flexible predictions without postulating any ad hoc ambiguities. Finally, it is (...)
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  • On the Nature of Presupposition: A Normative Speech Act Account.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (2):269-293.
    In this paper I provide a new account of linguistic presuppositions, on which they are ancillary speech acts defined by constitutive norms. After providing an initial intuitive characterization of the phenomenon, I present a normative speech act account of presupposition in parallel with Williamson’s analogous account of assertion. I explain how it deals well with the problem of informative presuppositions, and how it relates to accounts for the Triggering and Projection Problems for presuppositions. I conclude with a brief discussion of (...)
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  • Proceedings From SALT XI.Rachel Hastings, Brendan Jackson & Zsófia Zvolensky (eds.) - 2001 - CLC.
    Proceedings of the 11th Semantics and Linguistic Theory Conference, held May 11-13, 2001, at New York University.
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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 15, Saarbruecken.Ingo Reich (ed.) - 2010 - Saarbrücken: Universitätsverlag des Saarlandes.
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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 9.Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.) - 2005 - Nijmegen Centre for Semantics.
  • Reasoning Beyond Belief Acquisition.Daniel Drucker - 2022 - Noûs 56 (2):416-442.
    I argue that we can reason not only to new beliefs but to basically any change in attitude we can think of, including the abandonment of belief (contra John Broome), the acquisition of non-belief attitudes like relief and admiration, and the elimination of the same. To argue for this position, which I call generalism, I defend a sufficient condition on reasoning, roughly that we can reason to any change in attitude that is expressed by the conclusion of an argument we (...)
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  • Composing Local Contexts.Chris Barker - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 39 (2):385-407.
    An expression’s presuppositions must be satisfied by its local context, that is, by the utterance context updated with the content of expressions that have already been evaluated. Traditional dynamic approaches track local context by remaking clause denotations into context update functions. This requires crafting for each semantic operator an update recipe that is not fully determined by its truth conditions, failing to capture how local contexts depend only on truth conditions and order of evaluation. In other theories, computing local contexts (...)
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  • How Projective is Projective Content? Gradience in Projectivity and At-Issueness.Judith Tonhauser, David I. Beaver & Judith Degen - 2018 - Journal of Semantics 35 (3):495-542.
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  • Semantic Composition and Presupposition Projection in Subjunctive Conditionals.Michela Ippolito - 2006 - Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (6):631 - 672.
    The goal of this paper is to offer a compositional semantics for subjunctive and indicative will conditionals, and to derive the projection properties of the types of conditionals we consider and in particular those of counterfactual conditionals. It is argued that subjunctive conditionals are "bare" conditional embedded under temporal and aspectural operators, which constrain the interpretation of the modal operators in the embedded conditional. Furthermore, it is argued that a theory of presupposition projection à la Heim together with the present (...)
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  • Lewis Carroll’s regress and the presuppositional structure of arguments.Carlotta Pavese - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (1):1-38.
    This essay argues that the main lesson of Lewis Carroll's Regress is that arguments are constitutively presuppositional.
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  • The dynamics of negative concord.Jeremy Kuhn - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (1):153-198.
    Concord describes a natural language phenomenon in which a single logical meaning is expressed syntactically on multiple lexical items. The canonical example is negative concord, in which multiple negative expressions are used, but a single negation is interpreted. Formally similar phenomena have been observed for the redundant marking of distributivity and definiteness. Inspired by recent dynamic analyses of these latter two phenomena, we extend a similar dynamic analysis to negative concord. We propose that negative concord items introduce a discourse referent, (...)
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  • Update Rules and Semantic Universals.Luca Incurvati & Giorgio Sbardolini - manuscript
    We discuss a well-known puzzle about the lexicalization of logical operators in natural language, in particular connectives and quantifiers. Of the many logically possible functions of the relevant type, only few appear in the lexicon of natural languages: the connectives in English, for example, are only 'and', 'or', and perhaps 'nor' (expressing negated disjunction). The logically possible 'nand' (negated conjunction) is not expressed by a lexical entry of English, or of any natural language. The explanation we propose is based on (...)
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  • Presuppositions and Quantifier Domains.Friederike Moltmann - 2006 - Synthese 149 (1):179-224.
    In this paper, I will argue for a new account of presuppositions which is based on double indexing as well as minimal representational contexts providing antecedent material for anaphoric presuppositions, rather than notions of context defined in terms of the interlocutors’ pragmatic presuppositions or the information accumulated from the preceding discourse. This account applies in particular to new phenomena concerning the presupposition of quantifier domains. But it is also intended to be an account of presuppositions in general. The account differs (...)
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  • Foreword: Three-Valued Logics and Their Applications.Pablo Cobreros, Paul Égré, David Ripley & Robert van Rooij - 2014 - Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logics 24 (1-2):1-11.
  • On Preferring.Kyle Blumberg - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-30.
    In this paper, I draw attention to comparative preference claims, i.e. sentences of the form 'S prefers p to q'. I show that preference claims exhibit interesting patterns, and try to develop a semantics that captures them. Then I use my account of preference to provide an analysis of desire. The resulting entry for desire ascriptions is independently motivated, and finds support from a wide range of phenomena.
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  • Sly Pete in Dynamic Semantics.Simon Goldstein - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-17.
    In 'Sly Pete' or 'standoff' cases, reasonable speakers accept incompatible conditionals, and communicate them successfully to a trusting hearer. This paper uses the framework of dynamic semantics to offer a new model of the conversational dynamics at play in standoffs, and to articulate several puzzles posed by such cases. The paper resolves these puzzles by embracing a dynamic semantics for conditionals, according to which indicative conditionals require that their antecedents are possible in their local context, and update this body of (...)
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  • Abductive Reasoning: Logical Investigations Into Discovery and Explanation.Atocha Aliseda - 2005 - Dordrecht and London: Springer.
    Abductive Reasoning: Logical Investigations into Discovery and Explanation is a much awaited original contribution to the study of abductive reasoning, providing logical foundations and a rich sample of pertinent applications. Divided into three parts on the conceptual framework, the logical foundations, and the applications, this monograph takes the reader for a comprehensive and erudite tour through the taxonomy of abductive reasoning, via the logical workings of abductive inference ending with applications pertinent to scientific explanation, empirical progress, pragmatism and belief revision.
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  • Challenges for independence-driven and context-repair responses to the proviso problem.Alex Silk - forthcoming - Natural Language Semantics:1-15.
    This note presents challenge cases for prominent pragmatic responses to the proviso problem. I offer examples of uses of conditionals if \ that seem to commit the speaker unconditionally to the presupposition P of the consequent clause ϕ, even though the sentence’s predicted semantic presupposition ψ⊃P is antecedently satisfied, and independence between ψ and P isn’t antecedently assumed. The examples provided avoid problems with other examples from the literature used against pragmatic accounts. I leave the matter as an unresolved challenge (...)
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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 21.Rob Truswell, Chris Cummins, Caroline Heycock, Brian Rabern & Hannah Rohde (eds.) - 2018 - Semantics Archives.
    The present volume contains a collection of papers presented at the 21st annual meeting “Sinn und Bedeutung” of the Gesellschaft fur Semantik, which was held at the University of Edinburgh on September 4th–6th, 2016. The Sinn und Bedeutung conferences are one of the leading international venues for research in formal semantics.
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  • Reference to Abstract Objects in Discourse.Nicholas Asher - 1993 - Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer.
    This volume is about abstract objects and the ways we refer to them in natural language. Asher develops a semantical and metaphysical analysis of these entities in two stages. The first reflects the rich ontology of abstract objects necessitated by the forms of language in which we think and speak. A second level of analysis maps the ontology of natural language metaphysics onto a sparser domain--a more systematic realm of abstract objects that are fully analyzed. This second level reflects the (...)
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  • Why Indefinites Can Escape Scope Islands.Edgar Onea - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (3):237-267.
    One of the big questions about indefinites is why they can escape scope islands. In the recent approach of Brasoveanu and Farkas :1–55, 2011) scopal relations with syntactically dominating quantifiers are hard wired into the semantic definition of the existential quantifier, which immediately explains why the semantic scope of indefinites may exceed their syntactic scope. In this paper, I argue for the revival of an alternative approach which places the explanatory burden on the idea that indefinites are essentially referential expressions, (...)
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  • Trivalence and Anaphora.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - In Paul Egré & Lorenzo Rossi (eds.), Handbook of Three-Valued Logics. Cambridge: MIT Press.
    I survey the role of trivalence in theories of anaphora.
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  • Do Indicative Conditionals Express Propositions?Daniel Rothschild - 2013 - Noûs 47 (1):49-68.
    Discusses how to capture the link between the probability of indicative conditionals and conditional probability using a classical semantics for conditionals.
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  • Million Dollar Questions: Why Deliberation is More Than Information Pooling.Daniel Hoek & Richard Bradley - forthcoming - Social Choice and Welfare.
    Models of collective deliberation often assume that the chief aim of a deliberative exchange is the sharing of information. In this paper, we argue that an equally important role of deliberation is to draw participants’ attention to pertinent questions, which can aid the assembly and processing of distributed information by drawing deliberators’ attention to new issues. The assumption of logical omniscience renders classical models of agents’ informational states unsuitable for modelling this role of deliberation. Building on recent insights from psychology, (...)
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  • Ghosts, Murderers, and the Semantics of Descriptions.Anders Johan Schoubye - 2013 - Noûs 47 (3):496-533.
    It is widely agreed that sentences containing a non-denoting description embedded in the scope of a propositional attitude verb have true de dicto interpretations, and Russell's (1905) analysis of definite descriptions is often praised for its simple analysis of such cases, cf. e.g. Neale (1990). However, several people, incl. Elbourne (2005, 2009), Heim (1991), and Kripke (2005), have contested this by arguing that Russell's analysis yields incorrect predictions in non-doxastic attitude contexts. Heim and Elbourne have subsequently argued that once certain (...)
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  • Iffy Endorsements.Magdalena Kaufmann & Stefan Kaufmann - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 38 (4):639-665.
    Theories of imperatives differ in how they aim to derive the distributional and functional properties of this clause type. One point of divergence is how to capture the fact that imperative utterances convey the speaker’s endorsement for the course of events described. Condoravdi & Lauer observe that conditionals with imperative consequents are infelicitous as motivations of advice against doing something and take this as evidence for an analysis of imperatives as encoding speaker endorsement. We investigate CIs in further contexts and (...)
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  • The Mereological Structure of Distributivity: A Case Study of Binominal Each.Jess H.-K. Law - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 39 (1):159-211.
    Binominal each is known to exhibit selectional requirements on the noun phrase that immediately precedes it. The goal of this paper is to reduce these selectional requirements to a single requirement of monotonic growth of measurement in relation to the ‘size’ of distributivity. More concretely, it is argued that binominal each imposes a constraint on the functional dependencies arising from distributive quantification, requiring that the measurement of its host grows monotonically with the number of values being distributively quantified. To make (...)
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  • Interpreting plural predication: homogeneity and non-maximality.Manuel Križ & Benjamin Spector - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (5):1131-1178.
    Plural definite descriptions across many languages display two well-known properties. First, they can give rise to so-called non-maximal readings, in the sense that they ‘allow for exceptions’. Second, while they tend to have a quasi-universal quantificational force in affirmative sentences, they tend to be interpreted existentially in the scope of negation. Building on previous works, we offer a theory in which sentences containing plural definite expressions trigger a family of possible interpretations, and where general principles of language use account for (...)
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  • Between Conciseness and Transparency: Presuppositions in Legislative Texts.Stefan Höfler - 2014 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 27 (4):627-644.
    Presupposition is the semantic-pragmatic phenomenon whereby a statement contains an implicit precondition that must be taken for granted for that statement to be felicitous. This article discusses the role of presupposition in legislative texts, using examples from Swiss constitutional and administrative law. It illustrates how presuppositions are triggered in these texts and what functions they come to serve, placing special emphasis on their constitutive power. It also demonstrates how legislative drafters can distinguish between “good” presuppositions and “bad” presuppositions by weighing (...)
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  • Evidence Sensitivity in Weak Necessity Deontic Modals.Alex Silk - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):691-723.
    Kolodny and MacFarlane have made a pioneering contribution to our understanding of how the interpretation of deontic modals can be sensitive to evidence and information. But integrating the discussion of information-sensitivity into the standard Kratzerian framework for modals suggests ways of capturing the relevant data without treating deontic modals as “informational modals” in their sense. I show that though one such way of capturing the data within the standard semantics fails, an alternative does not. Nevertheless I argue that we have (...)
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  • Witnesses.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-27.
    The meaning of definite descriptions (like ‘the King of France’, ‘the girl’, etc.) has been a central topic in philosophy and linguistics for the past century. Indefinites (‘Something is on the floor’, ‘A child sat down’, etc.) have been relatively neglected in philosophy, under the Russellian assumption that they can be unproblematically treated as existential quantifiers. However, an important tradition, drawing from Stoic logic, has pointed to patterns which suggest that indefinites cannot be treated simply as existential quantifiers. The standard (...)
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  • Only: A Case Study In Projective Meaning.Craige Roberts - 2010 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 6 (1):14.
    I offer an integrated theory of the meaning of only in which the prejacent, while not presupposed, is both entailed and backgrounded, hence tends to project . Moreover, I argue, contra Beaver & Brady , that only is not conventionally associated with focus, the focus effects arising instead pragmatically. But I do adopt aspects of their semantics for only, including the presupposition of a pre-order over the elements of its domain.
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  • Advice for Noncognitivists.Malte Willer - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):174–207.
    Metaethical noncognitivists have trouble arriving at a respectable semantic theory for moral language. The goal of this article is to make substantial progress toward demonstrating that these problems may be overcome. Replacing the predominant expressivist semantic agenda in metaethics with a dynamic perspective on meaning and communication allows noncognitivists to provide a satisfying analysis of negation and other constructions that have been argued to be problematic for metaethical noncognitivism, including disjunctions. The resulting proposal preserves some of the key insights from (...)
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  • Clarity and the Grammar of Skepticism.Chris Barker - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (3):253-273.
    Why ever assert clarity? If It is clear that p is true, then saying so should be at best superfluous. Barker and Taranto (2003) and Taranto (2006) suggest that asserting clarity reveals information about the beliefs of the discourse participants, specifically, that they both believe that p . However, mutual belief is not sufficient to guarantee clarity ( It is clear that God exists ). I propose instead that It is clear that p means instead (roughly) 'the publicly available evidence (...)
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  • Assertion and Modality.Fabrizio Cariani - 2020 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 505-528.
    This essay is an opinionated exploration of the constraints that modal discourse imposes on the theory of assertion. Primary focus is on the question whether modal discourse challenges the traditional view that all assertions have propositional content. This question is tackled largely with reference to discourse involving epistemic modals, although connections with other flavors of modality are noted along the way.
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  • Context as Knowledge.Torfinn Thomesen Huvenes & Andreas Stokke - 2021 - Mind and Language.
    It has been argued that common ground information is unsuited to the role that contexts play in the theory of indexical and demonstrative reference. This paper explores an alternative view that identifies shared information with what is common knowledge among the participants. We argue this view of shared information avoids the problems for the common ground approach concerning reference while preserving its advantages in accounting for communication.
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  • Individual and Stage-Level Predicates of Personal Taste: Another Argument for Genericity as the Source of Faultless Disagreement.Hazel Pearson - forthcoming - In J. Wyatt (ed.), Perspectives on Taste: Aesthetics, Language, Metaphysics and Experimental Philosophy.
    This chapter compares simple predicates of personal taste (PPTs) such as tasty and beautiful with their complex counterparts (eg tastes good, looks beautiful). I argue that the former differ from the latter along two dimensions. Firstly, simple PPTs are individual-level predicates, whereas complex ones are stage-level. Secondly, covert Experiencer arguments of simple PPTs obligatorily receive a generic interpretation; by contrast, the covert Experiencer of a complex PPT can receive a generic, bound variable or referential interpretation. I provide an analysis of (...)
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  • The Semantics and Pragmatics of Argumentation.Carlotta Pavese - forthcoming - In Daniel Altshuler (ed.), Linguistics meets philosophy. Cambridge:
    This paper overviews some recent work on the semantics and pragmatics of arguments.
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  • Force and Choice.Sam Carter - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-38.
    Some utterances of imperative clauses have directive force—they impose obligations. Others have permissive force—they extend permissions. The dominant view is that this difference in force is not accompanied by a difference in semantic content. Drawing on data involving free choice items in imperatives, I argue that the dominant view is incorrect.
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  • Presuppositional Exhaustification.Itai Bassi, Guillermo Del Pinal & Uli Sauerland - 2021 - Semantics and Pragmatics 14:1-42.
    Grammatical theories of Scalar Implicatures make use of an exhaustivity operator exh, which asserts the conjunction of the prejacent with the negation of excludable alternatives. We present a new Grammatical theory of Scalar Implicatures according to which exh is replaced with pex, an operator that contributes its prejacent as asserted content, but the negation of scalar alternatives at a non-at-issue level of meaning. We show that by treating this non-at-issue level as a presupposition, this theory resolves a number of empirical (...)
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