Philosophia 5 (4):451-465 (1975)

One of the goals of a certain brand of philosopher has been to give an account of language and linguistic phenomena by means of showing how sentences are to be translated into a "logically perspicuous notation" (or an "ideal language"—to use passe terminology). The usual reason given by such philosophers for this activity is that such a notational system will somehow illustrate the "logical form" of these sentences. There are many candidates for this notational system: (almost) ordinary first-order predicate logic (see Quine [1960]), higher-order predicate logic (see Parsons [1968, 1970]), intensional logic (see Montague [1969, 1970a, 1970b, 1971]), and transformational grammar (see Harrnan [1971]), to mention some of the more popular ones. I do not propose to discuss the general question of the correctness of this approach to the philosophy of language, nor do I wish to adjudicate among the notational systems mentioned here. Rather, I want to focus on one problem which must be faced by all such systems—a problem that must be discussed before one decides upon a notational system and tries to demontrate that it in fact can account for all linguistic phenomena. The general problem is to determine what we shall allow as linguistic data; in this paper I shall restrict my attention to this general problem as it appears when we try to account for certain words with non-singular reference, in particular, the words that are classified by the count/ mass and sortal/non-sortal distinctions
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DOI 10.1007/BF02379268
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References found in this work BETA

Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Reference and Generality.P. T. Geach - 1962 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Universal Grammar.Richard Montague - 1970 - Theoria 36 (3):373--398.
English as a Formal Language.Richard Montague - 1970 - In Bruno Visentini (ed.), Linguaggi nella societa e nella tecnica. Edizioni di Communita. pp. 188-221.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Algebra of Events.Emmon Bach - 1986 - Linguistics and Philosophy 9 (1):5--16.
Ambiguity.Adam Sennet - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Towards a Common Semantics for English Count and Mass Nouns.Brendan S. Gillon - 1992 - Linguistics and Philosophy 15 (6):597 - 639.

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