Authors
Matthew Mandelkern
New York University
Daniel Rothschild
University College London
Abstract
We argue that definite noun phrases give rise to uniqueness inferences characterized by a pattern we call definiteness projection. Definiteness projection says that the uniqueness inference of a definite projects out unless there is an indefinite antecedent in a position that filters presuppositions. We argue that definiteness projection poses a serious puzzle for e-type theories of (in)definites; on such theories, indefinites should filter existence presuppositions but not uniqueness presuppositions. We argue that definiteness projection also poses challenges for dynamic approaches, which have trouble generating uniqueness inferences and predicting some filtering behavior, though unlike the challenge for e-type theories, these challenges have mostly been noted in the literature, albeit in a piecemeal way. Our central aim, however, is not to argue for or against a particular view, but rather to formulate and motivate a generalization about definiteness which any adequate theory must account for.
Keywords anaphora  definite descriptions  indefinites  dynamic semantics  e-type theories
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Reprint years 2019
DOI 10.1007/s11050-019-09159-2
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References found in this work BETA

Reference and Generality.P. T. Geach - 1962 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Pragmatic Presuppositions.Robert Stalnaker - 1974 - In Context and Content. Oxford University Press. pp. 47--62.

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Citations of this work BETA

Descriptions, pronouns, and uniqueness.Karen S. Lewis - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (3):559-617.
Witnesses.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-27.
Anaphora.Jeffrey C. King & Karen S. Lewis - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Trivalence and Anaphora.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - In Paul Egré & Lorenzo Rossi (eds.), Handbook of Three-Valued Logics. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Pronouns as Demonstratives.Kyle Blumberg - 2021 - Philosophers' Imprint 21 (35).

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