Varieties of update

Semantics and Pragmatics 7 (2):1--53 (2014)
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Abstract

This paper discusses three potential varieties of update: updates to the common ground, structuring updates, and updates that introduce discourse referents. These different types of update are used to model different aspects of natural language phenomena. Not-at-issue information directly updates the common ground. The illocutionary mood of a sentence structures the context. Other updates introduce discourse referents of various types, including propositional discourse referents for at-issue information. Distinguishing these types of update allows a unified treatment of a broad range of phenomena, including the grammatical evidentials found in Cheyenne (Algonquian) as well as English evidential parentheticals, appositives, and mood marking. An update semantics that can formalize all of these varieties of update is given, integrating the different kinds of semantic contributions into a single representation of meaning.

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Sarah E. Murray
Cornell University

Citations of this work

A Preference Semantics for Imperatives.William B. Starr - 2020 - Semantics and Pragmatics 20.
Pragmatic Particularism.Ray Buchanan & Henry Ian Schiller - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (1):62-78.
The Problem of Lexical Innovation.Josh Armstrong - 2016 - Linguistics and Philosophy 39 (2):87-118.
The Dynamics of Argumentative Discourse.Carlotta Pavese & Alexander W. Kocurek - 2022 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 51 (2):413-456.

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Scorekeeping in a language game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):339--359.
Assertion.Robert Stalnaker - 1978 - Syntax and Semantics (New York Academic Press) 9:315-332.
Scorekeeping in a Language Game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (3):339.

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