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  1. Number-Neutral Bare Plurals and the Multiplicity Implicature.Eytan Zweig - 2009 - Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (4):353-407.
    Bare plurals (dogs) behave in ways that quantified plurals (some dogs) do not. For instance, while the sentence John owns dogs implies that John owns more than one dog, its negation John does not own dogs does not mean “John does not own more than one dog”, but rather “John does not own a dog”. A second puzzling behavior is known as the dependent plural reading; when in the scope of another plural, the ‘more than one’ meaning of the plural (...)
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  • Variable Handling and Compositionality: Comparing DRT and DTS.Yukiko Yana, Koji Mineshima & Daisuke Bekki - 2019 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 28 (2):261-285.
    This paper provides a detailed comparison between discourse representation theory and dependent type semantics, two frameworks for discourse semantics. Although it is often stated that DRT and those frameworks based on dependent types are mutually exchangeable, we argue that they differ with respect to variable handling, more specifically, how substitution and other operations on variables are defined. This manifests itself in two recalcitrant problems posed for DRT; namely, the overwrite problem and the duplication problem. We will see that these problems (...)
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  • Two Puzzles About Ability Can.Malte Willer - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (3):551-586.
    The received wisdom on ability modals is that they differ from their epistemic and deontic cousins in what inferences they license and better receive a universal or conditional analysis instead of an existential one. The goal of this paper is to sharpen the empirical picture about the semantics of ability modals, and to propose an analysis that explains what makes the can of ability so special but that also preserves the crucial idea that all uses of can share a common (...)
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  • Realizing What Might Be.Malte Willer - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (3):365 - 375.
    Schulz has shown that the suppositional view of indicative conditionals leads to a corresponding view of epistemic modals. But his case backfires: the resulting theory of epistemic modals gets the facts wrong, and so we end up with a good argument against the suppositional view. I show how and why a dynamic view of indicative conditionals leads to a better theory of epistemic modals.
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  • It’s All About Logics?! Analyzing the Rhetorical Structure of Multimodal Filmic Text.Janina Wildfeuer - 2018 - Semiotica 2018 (220):95-121.
    Name der Zeitschrift: Semiotica Jahrgang: 2018 Heft: 220 Seiten: 95-121.
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  • Dynamics of Epistemic Modality.Malte Willer - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (1):45-92.
    A dynamic semantics for epistemically modalized sentences is an attractive alternative to the orthodox view that our best theory of meaning ascribes to such sentences truth-conditions relative to what is known. This essay demonstrates that a dynamic theory about might and must offers elegant explanations of a range of puzzling observations about epistemic modals. The first part of the story offers a unifying treatment of disputes about epistemic modality and disputes about matters of fact while at the same time avoiding (...)
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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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  • Shifting Perspectives in Discourse.H. J. Verkuyl & C. F. M. Vermeulen - 1996 - Linguistics and Philosophy 19 (5):503 - 526.
    Topic of this paper is the way in which the structure of events features in discourse. We focus on the structure as introduced by verbs that express some sense of progress. First it is shown by means of examples that this structure is anaphorically available in discourse. Then we go on to discuss the different ways in which the same event may be structured within one discourse situation. We give formal representations of the crucial examples in many-sorted dynamic logic.
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  • Formal Models for Real People.Michiel van Lambalgen & Marian Counihan - 2008 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 17 (4):385-389.
  • Time, Context, and Cross-Temporal Claims.Giuliano Torrengo - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (2):281-296.
    I present a new problem for the tense realist concerning the evaluation of cross-temporal claims, such as ‘John is now taller than Michael was in 1984’. Time can play two different roles in the evaluation of an utterance of a sentence: either as an element that completes the content expressed by the utterance (the completion role), or as part of the circumstances against which the content is evaluated (the evaluation role). It is this latter role that time plays in the (...)
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  • Inessential Features, Ineliminable Features, and Modal Logics for Model Theoretic Syntax.Hans-Jörg Tiede - 2008 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 17 (2):217-227.
    While monadic second-order logic (MSO) has played a prominent role in model theoretic syntax, modal logics have been used in this context since its inception. When comparing propositional dynamic logic (PDL) to MSO over trees, Kracht (1997) noted that there are tree languages that can be defined in MSO that can only be defined in PDL by adding new features whose distribution is predictable. He named such features “inessential features”. We show that Kracht’s observation can be extended to other modal (...)
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  • The Goal of Conversation.Zoltán Gendler Szabó - 2020 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 94 (1):57-86.
    Dickie presents an argument against the traditional, broadly Gricean view of conversation. She argues that speakers must sometimes be more specific than required for sharing knowledge on a topic of common concern. Her proposed solution is to claim that the goal of conversation is not just sharing knowledge but also sharing cognitive focus. In response, I argue that her proposal faces both conceptual and empirical difficulties, and that the traditional view can handle the problem of non-specificity by acknowledging that in (...)
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  • Local Pragmatics and Structured Contents.Mandy Simons - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (1):21-33.
    There is a long-standing and rarely contested view that Gricean conversational reasoning—the kind of reasoning that supports the identification of conversational implicatures—cannot produce pragmatically generated modification of the contents of embedded clauses. The goal of this paper is to argue against this view: to argue that embedded pragmatic effects can be seen as continuous with ordinary, utterance-level, conversational implicature. I will further suggest, though, that embedded pragmatic effects do force on us a particular conception of semantics. Specifically, I will argue (...)
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  • Foundational Issues in Presupposition.Mandy Simons - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (4):357–372.
    Unsurprisingly, the negation of sentence (1), shown in (3), does not share this entailment. Neither does the yes/no question formed from this sentence. Similarly, if we add a possibility modal to the sentence, or construct a conditional of which (1) is the antecedent, the resulting sentences do not share the entailment of the original, as we see from the examples below.
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  • Force and Choice.Sam Carter - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (4):873-910.
    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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  • The Puzzle of Free Indirect Discourse.Yael Sharvit - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (3):353-395.
    The purpose of this paper is to shed some light on the familiar puzzle of free indirect discourse (FID). FID shares some properties with standard indirect discourse and with direct discourse, but there is currently no known theory that can accommodate such a hybrid. Based on the observation that FID has ‘de se’ pronouns, I argue that it is a kind of an attitude report.
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  • The Logic and Mathematics of Occasion Sentences.Pieter A. M. Seuren, Venanizo Capretta & Herman Geuvers - 2001 - Linguistics and Philosophy 24 (5):531-595.
    The prime purpose of this paper is, first, to restore to discourse-bound occasion sentences their rightful central place in semantics and secondly, taking these as the basic propositional elements in the logical analysis of language, to contribute to the development of an adequate logic of occasion sentences and a mathematical foundation for such a logic, thus preparing the ground for more adequate semantic, logical and mathematical foundations of the study of natural language. Some of the insights elaborated in this paper (...)
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  • Type-Ambiguous Names.Anders J. Schoubye - 2017 - Mind 126 (503):715-767.
    The orthodox view of proper names, Millianism, provides a very simple and elegant explanation of the semantic contribution of referential uses of names–names that occur as bare singulars and as the argument of a predicate. However, one problem for Millianism is that it cannot explain the semantic contribution of predicative uses of names. In recent years, an alternative view, so-called the-predicativism, has become increasingly popular. According to the-predicativists, names are uniformly count nouns. This straightforwardly explains why names can be used (...)
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  • Present Perfects Compete.Gerhard Schaden - 2009 - Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (2):115-141.
    This paper proposes a new look at the so-called ‘present-perfect puzzle’. I suggest that it is in fact part of a bigger problem, which also involves simple past tenses. I argue that present perfects compete with simple past tenses, and that the distribution of these tenses shows signs of the impact of this competition. The outcome of the competition is argued to be heavily dependent on which of the two tense-forms is the default. A pragmatic theory is proposed which accounts (...)
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  • Pragmatic Meaning and Non-Monotonic Reasoning: The Case of Exhaustive Interpretation.Katrin Schulz & Robert van Rooij - 2006 - Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (2):205 - 250.
    In this paper an approach to the exhaustive interpretation of answers is developed. It builds on a proposal brought forward by Groenendijk and Stokhof (1984). We will use the close connection between their approach and McCarthy's (1980, 1986) predicate circumscription and describe exhaustive interpretation as an instance of interpretation in minimal models, well-known from work on counterfactuals (see for instance Lewis (1973)). It is shown that by combining this approach with independent developments in semantics/pragmatics one can overcome certain limitations of (...)
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  • Names Are Variables.Anders J. Schoubye - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (1):53-94.
    MILLIANISM and DESCRIPTIVISM are without question the two most prominent views with respect to the semantics of proper names. However, debates between MILLIANS and DESCRIPTIVISTS have tended to focus on a fairly narrow set of linguistic data and an equally narrow set of problems, mainly how to solve with Frege's puzzle and how to guarantee rigidity. In this article, the author focuses on a set of data that has been given less attention in these debates—namely, so-called predicative uses, bound uses, (...)
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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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  • Donkey Anaphora: The View From Sign Language (ASL and LSF).Philippe Schlenker - 2011 - Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (4):341-395.
    There are two main approaches to the problem of donkey anaphora (e.g. If John owns a donkey , he beats it ). Proponents of dynamic approaches take the pronoun to be a logical variable, but they revise the semantics of quantifiers so as to allow them to bind variables that are not within their syntactic scope. Older dynamic approaches took this measure to apply solely to existential quantifiers; recent dynamic approaches have extended it to all quantifiers. By contrast, proponents of (...)
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  • Varieties of Logical Form.Mark Sainsbury - 2020 - Disputatio 12 (58):223-250.
    The paper reviews some conceptions of logical form in the light of Andrea Iacona’s book Logical Form. I distinguish the following: logical form as schematization of natural language, provided by, for example, Aristotle’s syllogistic; the relevance to logical form of formal languages like those used by Frege and Russell to express and prove mathematical theorems; Russell’s mid-period conception of logical form as the structural cement binding propositions; the conceptions of logical form discussed by Iacona; and logical form regarded as an (...)
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  • Précis of Semantic Cognition: A Parallel Distributed Processing Approach.Timothy T. Rogers & James L. McClelland - 2008 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (6):689-714.
    In this prcis we focus on phenomena central to the reaction against similarity-based theories that arose in the 1980s and that subsequently motivated the approach to semantic knowledge. Specifically, we consider (1) how concepts differentiate in early development, (2) why some groupings of items seem to form or coherent categories while others do not, (3) why different properties seem central or important to different concepts, (4) why children and adults sometimes attest to beliefs that seem to contradict their direct experience, (...)
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  • Uniqueness in Definite Noun Phrases.Craige Roberts - 2003 - Linguistics and Philosophy 26 (3):287-350.
  • Direct Deductive Computation on Discourse Representation Structures.Uwe Reyle & Dov M. Gabbay - 1994 - Linguistics and Philosophy 17 (4):343 - 390.
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  • Two Types of Choice-Functional Indefinites: Evidence From Ga.Agata Renans - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):405-415.
    There is a longstanding discussion whether wide-scope indefinites denote choice functions that are existentially bound or remain free. Data from Ga, an under-researched language spoken in Ghana, show that there are wide-scope indefinites denoting existentially bound skolemized choice functions whose parameter is bound by a higher quantificational NP, free skolemized choice functions with the speaker or a higher quantificational NP as a parameter, and narrow scope quantificational indefinites. Thus the data show that both existentially bound and free skolemized choice functions (...)
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  • Quasi‐Indexicals and Knowledge Reports.William J. Rapaport, Stuart C. Shapiro & Janyce M. Wiebe - 1997 - Cognitive Science 21 (1):63-107.
    We present a computational analysis of de re, de dicto, and de se belief and knowledge reports. Our analysis solves a problem first observed by Hector-Neri Castañeda, namely, that the simple rule -/- `(A knows that P) implies P' -/- apparently does not hold if P contains a quasi-indexical. We present a single rule, in the context of a knowledge-representation and reasoning system, that holds for all P, including those containing quasi-indexicals. In so doing, we explore the difference between reasoning (...)
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  • Contextual Vocabulary Acquisition: From Algorithm to Curriculum.Michael W. Kibby & William J. Rapaport - 2014 - In Adriano Palma (ed.), Castañeda and His Guises: Essays on the Work of Hector-Neri Castañeda. De Gruyter. pp. 107-150.
    Deliberate contextual vocabulary acquisition (CVA) is a reader’s ability to figure out a (not the) meaning for an unknown word from its “context”, without external sources of help such as dictionaries or people. The appropriate context for such CVA is the “belief-revised integration” of the reader’s prior knowledge with the reader’s “internalization” of the text. We discuss unwarranted assumptions behind some classic objections to CVA, and present and defend a computational theory of CVA that we have adapted to a new (...)
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  • Computers Are Syntax All the Way Down: Reply to Bozşahin.William J. Rapaport - 2019 - Minds and Machines 29 (2):227-237.
    A response to a recent critique by Cem Bozşahin of the theory of syntactic semantics as it applies to Helen Keller, and some applications of the theory to the philosophy of computer science.
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  • The Impersonal ‘You’ and Other Indexicals.Stefano Predelli - 2004 - Disputatio 1 (16):2-25.
    In this essay I propose a semantic analysis of impersonal uses of ‘you’, and related uses of other indexical expressions. The framework I employ is Kaplan’s classic analysis of indexical languages, enriched with independently motivated hypotheses about the identification of the semantically relevant context, and about the employment of generic expressions.
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  • The Impersonal ‘You’ and Other Indexicals.Stefano Predelli - 2004 - Disputatio 1 (16):2-25.
    In this essay I propose a semantic analysis of impersonal uses of ‘you’, and related uses of other indexical expressions. The framework I employ is Kaplan’s classic analysis of indexical languages, enriched with independently motivated hypotheses about the identification of the semantically relevant context, and about the employment of generic expressions.
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  • Objects of Desire, Thought, and Reality: Problems of Anchoring Discourse Referents in Development.Josef Perner, Bibiane Rendl & Alan Garnham - 2007 - Mind and Language 22 (5):475–513.
    Our objectives in this article are to bring some theoretical order into developmental sequences and simultaneities in children’s ability to appreciate multiple labels for single objects, to reason with identity statements, to reason hypothetically, counterfactually, and with beliefs and desires, and to explain why an ‘implicit’ understanding of belief occurs before an ‘explicit’ understanding. The central idea behind our explanation is the emerging grasp of how objects of thought and desire relate to real objects and to each other. To capture (...)
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  • A User’s Guide to Hybrid Tools.Caleb Perl - 2020 - Mind 129 (513):129-158.
    Hybrid metaethical theories have significant promise; they would have important upshots if they were true. But they also face severe problems. The problems are severe enough to make many philosophers doubt that they could be true. My ambition is to show that the problems are just instances of a highly general problem: a problem about what are sometimes called ‘intensional anaphora'. I'll also show that any adequate explanation of intensional anaphora immediately solves all the problems for the hybrid theorist. We (...)
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  • Eventualities and Narrative Progression.Terence Parsons - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (5-6):681-699.
  • Pragmatic Enrichment as Coherence Raising.Peter Pagin - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (1):59-100.
    This paper concerns the phenomenon of pragmatic enrichment, and has a proposal for predicting the occurrence of such enrichments. The idea is that an enrichment of an expressed content c occurs as a means of strengthening the coherence between c and a salient given content c’ of the context, whether c’ is given in discourse, as sentence parts, or through perception. After enrichment, a stronger coherence relation is instantiated than before enrichment. An idea of a strength scale of types of (...)
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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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  • Evidentiality, Modality and Probability.Norry Ogata & Elin McCready - 2007 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (2):147-206.
    We show in this paper that some expressions indicating source of evidence are part of propositional content and are best analyzed as special kind of epistemic modal. Our evidence comes from the Japanese evidential system. We consider six evidentials in Japanese, showing that they can be embedded in conditionals and under modals and that their properties with respect to modal subordination are similar to those of ordinary modals. We show that these facts are difficult for existing theories of evidentials, which (...)
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  • Upper-Bounded No More: The Exhaustive Interpretation of Non-Strict Comparison. [REVIEW]Rick Nouwen - 2008 - Natural Language Semantics 16 (4):271-295.
    The paper concerns the expression of non-strict comparison, focusing in particular on constructions of the form [no(t) . . .-er than] in modified numerals. The main empirical finding is the observation that negated comparatives contrast with regular comparatives in that the former but not the latter can give rise to (scalar) implicatures. It is shown that such a contrast falls out of theories of exhaustive interpretation that claim alternatives to form dense scales. An important result is that the paper sharpens (...)
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  • Combining Montague Semantics and Discourse Representation.Reinhard Muskens - 1996 - Linguistics and Philosophy 19 (2):143 - 186.
    This paper embeds the core part of Discourse Representation Theory in the classical theory of types plus a few simple axioms that allow the theory to express key facts about variables and assignments on the object level of the logic. It is shown how the embedding can be used to combine core analyses of natural language phenomena in Discourse Representation Theory with analyses that can be obtained in Montague Semantics.
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  • A Squib on Anaphora and Coindexing.Reinhard Muskens - 2011 - Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (1):85-89.
    There are two kinds of semantic theories of anaphora. Some, such as Heim’s File Change Semantics, Groenendijk and Stokhof’s Dynamic Predicate Logic, or Muskens’ Compositional DRT (CDRT), seem to require full coindexing of anaphora and their antecedents prior to interpretation. Others, such as Kamp’s Discourse Representation Theory (DRT), do not require this coindexing and seem to have an important advantage here. In this squib I will sketch a procedure that the first group of theories may help themselves to so that (...)
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  • Temporal Interpretation in Hausa.Anne Mucha - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (5):371-415.
    This paper provides a formal analysis of the grammatical encoding of temporal information in Hausa (Chadic, Afro-Asiatic), thereby contributing to the recent debate on temporality in languages without overt tense morphology. By testing the hypothesis of covert tense against recently obtained empirical data, the study yields the result that Hausa is tenseless and that temporal reference is pragmatically inferred from aspectual, modal and contextual information. The second part of the paper addresses the coding of future in particular. It is shown (...)
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  • Past Interpretation and Graded Tense in Medumba.Anne Mucha - 2017 - Natural Language Semantics 25 (1):1-52.
    This paper provides a formal semantic analysis of past interpretation in Medumba, a graded tense language. Based on original fieldwork, the study explores the empirical behavior and meaning contribution of graded past morphemes in Medumba and relates these to the account of the phenomenon proposed in Cable for Gĩkũyũ. Investigation reveals that the behavior of Medumba gradedness markers differs from that of their Gĩkũyũ counterparts in meaningful ways and, more broadly, discourages an analysis as presuppositional eventuality or reference time modifiers. (...)
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  • Galen Strawson, Mental Reality.Michael Morris - 1997 - Minds and Machines 7 (3):442-447.
  • Descriptions and Tests for Polysemy.Andrei Moldovan - 2021 - Axiomathes 31 (3):229-249.
    Viebahn (2018) has recently argued that several tests for ambiguity, such as the conjunction-reduction test, are not reliable as tests for polysemy, but only as tests for homonymy. I look at the more fine-grained distinction between regular and irregular polysemy and I argue for a more nuanced conclusion: the tests under discussion provide systematic evidence for homonymy and irregular polysemy but need to be used with more care to test for regular polysemy. I put this conclusion at work in the (...)
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  • Tense, Propositions, and Facts.Ulrich Meyer - 2016 - Synthese 193 (11):3691-3699.
    This paper aims to clarify the connection between the logic of temporal distinctions and the temporal features of propositions. Contra Prior, it argues that the adoption of tense operators does not commit one to the view that propositions can change their truth value over time.
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  • Evidentiality, Modality and Probability.Eric McCready & Norry Ogata - 2007 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (2):147 - 206.
    We show in this paper that some expressions indicating source of evidence are part of propositional content and are best analyzed as special kind of epistemic modal. Our evidence comes from the Japanese evidential system. We consider six evidentials in Japanese, showing that they can be embedded in conditionals and under modals and that their properties with respect to modal subordination are similar to those of ordinary modals. We show that these facts are difficult for existing theories of evidentials, which (...)
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  • Referent Systems and Relational Grammar.Kracht Marcus - 2002 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 11 (2):251-286.
    Relational Grammar (RG) was introduced in the 1970s as a theory of grammatical relations and relation change, for example, passivization, dative shift, and raising. Furthermore, the idea behind RG was that transformations as originally designed in generative grammar were unable to capture the common kernel of, e.g., passivization across languages. The researchconducted within RG has uncovered a wealth of phenomena for which it could produce a satisfactory analysis. Although the theory of Government and Binding has answered some of the complaints, (...)
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  • Rhetorical Structure Theory: Looking Back and Moving Ahead.William C. Mann & Maite Taboada - 2006 - Discourse Studies 8 (3):423-459.
    Rhetorical Structure Theory has enjoyed continuous attention since its origins in the 1980s. It has been applied, compared to other approaches, and also criticized in a number of areas in discourse analysis, theoretical linguistics, psycholinguistics, and computational linguistics. In this article, we review some of the discussions about the theory itself, especially addressing issues of the reliability of analyses and psychological validity, together with a discussion of the nature of text relations. We also propose areas for further research. A follow-up (...)
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