Descriptive Indexicals, Deferred Reference, and Anaphora

Abstract

The objectives of this paper are twofold. The first is to present a differentiation between two kinds of deferred uses of indexicals: those in which indexical utterances express singular propositions and those where they express general propositions. The second objective is the analysis of the descriptive uses of indexicals. In contrast to Nunberg, who treats descriptive uses as a special case of deferred reference in which a property contributes to the proposition expressed, I argue that examples in which a general proposition is indeed expressed by an indexical cannot be treated by assuming that the property is a deferred referent of the pronoun. I propose an analysis of descriptive uses of indexicals by means of a pragmatic mechanism of ‘descriptive anaphora’, which attempts to explain the special kind of contribution of the property retrieved from the context to the proposition that is characteristic of the descriptive interpretation.

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2020-10-17

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Katarzyna Kijania-Placek
Jagiellonian University

Citations of this work

Deferred Reference of Proper Names.Katarzyna Kijania-Placek & Paweł Banaś - 2021 - Journal of Semantics 38 (2):195-219.
Names of Places.Katarzyna Kijania-Placek - 2021 - Semiotica 2021 (240):187-210.

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