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LINGUISTIX&LOGIK, Tony Marmo's blog
Tuesday, 8 November 2005


Are Intensions Necessary? Sense as the Construction of Reference

By Almerindo Ojeda

It seems that PEST can overcome the difficulties that have hitherto plagued the extensional theory of meaning. As we have seen in the course of this paper, PEST can account for the variable informativeness of identity statements, the failure of substitution in opaque contexts, the compositional interpretation of modal verbs and adverbs, the non-trivial nature of counterfactuals, and the non-synonymy of vacuous predicates.

In fact, there are instances in which the accounts of these facts provided by PEST are actually better than the ones provided by possible-worlds semantics. For one thing, PEST accounts are by and large simpler, less abstract, and more intuitive than those issuing from the intensional account.

Source: Semantics Archive

Posted by Tony Marmo at 08:08 GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 8 November 2005 08:09 GMT


Modal Logics in the Vicinity of S1

By Brian F. Chellas & Krister Segerberg

We define pre-normal modal logics and show that S1, S10, S0.9, and S0.90 are Lewis versions of certain pre-normal logics, determination and decidability for which are immediate. At the end we characterize Cresswell logics and ponder C. I. Lewis's idea of strict implication in S1.

Source: Notre Dame J. Formal Logic 37, no. 1 (1996), 1–24

Posted by Tony Marmo at 00:20 GMT


Linear Kripke Frames and Gödel Logics

By Arnold Beckmann & Norbert Preining

We investigate the relation between logics of countable linear Kripke frames with constant domains and Gödel logics. We show that for any such Kripke frame there is a Gödel logic which coincides with the logic of his Kripke frame and vice versa. This allows us to transfer several recent results on Gödel logics to the logics of countable linear Kripke frames with constant domains.

Posted by Tony Marmo at 00:01 GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 8 November 2005 08:13 GMT

Topic: Interconnections



By Kurt Konolige

In their attempt to model and reason about the beliefs of agents, artificial intelligence (AI) researchers have borrowed from two different philosophical traditions regarding the folk psychology of belief. In one tradition, belief is a relation between an agent and a proposition, that is, a propositional attitude. Formal analyses of propositional attitudes are often given in terms of a possible-worlds semantics. In the other tradition, belief is a relation between an agent and a sentence that expresses a proposition (the sentential approach). The arguments for and against these approaches are complicated, confusing, and often obscure and unintelligible (at least to this author). Nevertheless strong supporters exist for both sides, not only in the philosophical arena (where one would expect it), but also in AI.
In the latter field, some proponents of posslble-worlds analysis have attempted to remedy what appears to be its biggest drawback, namely the assumption that an agent believes all the logical consequences of his or her beliefs. Drawing on initial
work by Levesque, Fagin and Halpern define a logic of General awareness that superimposes elements of the sentential approach on a possible-worlds framework. The result, they claim, is an appropriate model for resource-limited believers.
We argue that this is a bad idea: it ends up being equivalent to a more complicated version of the sentential approach. In concluding we cannot refrain from adding to the debate about the utility of possible-worlds analyses of belief.


Posted by Tony Marmo at 00:01 GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 8 November 2005 08:11 GMT


The Gap Between Meaning and Assertion

By Scott Soames

A conception of meaning as least common denominator is presented according to which the semantic content of S is that which is common to what is asserted by utterances of S in all normal contexts. Although the content of S is often a complete proposition, and, hence, a proper candidate for being asserted and believed, in some cases it is only a skeleton, or partial specification, of such a proposition. In many contexts, the semantic content of S -- whether it is a complete proposition or not -- interacts with an expanded conception of pragmatics to generate a pragmatically enriched proposition that it is the speaker's primary intention to assert. Other propositions count as asserted only when they are relevant, unmistakable, necessary and apriori consequences of the speaker's primary assertions, together with salient presuppositions of the conversational background.

Source:Online Papers in Philosophy

Posted by Tony Marmo at 00:01 GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 8 November 2005 08:15 GMT

Topic: Interconnections

Belief Liberation (and Retraction)

By Richard Booth, Samir Chopra, Aditya Ghose and Thomas Meyer

We provide a formal study of belief retraction operators that do not necessarily satisfy the (Inclusion) postulate. Our intuition is that a rational description of belief change must do justice to cases in which dropping a belief can lead to the inclusion, or 'liberation', of others in an agent's corpus. We provide a few possible weakenings of the (Inclusion) postulate and then provide two models of liberation via retraction operators, σ-liberation and linear liberation. We show that the class of σ-liberation operators is included in the class of linear ones and provide axiomatic characterisations for each class. We also show how any given retraction operator (including the liberation operators) can be 'converted' into either a withdrawal operator (i.e., satisfying (Inclusion)) or a revision operator via (a slight variant of) the Harper Identity and the Levi Identity respectively.

Source: TARK

Posted by Tony Marmo at 00:01 GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 8 November 2005 07:56 GMT
Thursday, 20 October 2005

Topic: Interconnections

Logical Form: Classical Conception and Recent Challenges

By Brendan Jackson

The term ‘logical form’ has been called on to serve a wide range of purposes in philosophy, and it would be too ambitious to try to survey all of them in a single essay. Instead, I will focus on just one conception of logical form that has occupied a central place in the philosophy of language, and in particular in the philosophical study of linguistic meaning. This is what I will call the classical conception of logical form. The classical conception, as I will present it in section 1, has (either explicitly or implicitly) shaped a great deal of important philosophical work in semantic theory. But it has come under fire in recent decades, and in sections 2 and 3 I will discuss two of the recent challenges that I take to be most interesting and significant.

Source: Online Papers in Philosophy

Posted by Tony Marmo at 06:23 BST
Updated: Thursday, 20 October 2005 06:27 BST
Tuesday, 18 October 2005


Formal Linking in Internally Headed Relatives

By Min-Joo Kim

The present paper investigates how morphosyntax, semantics, and pragmatics work together to produce the so-called Internally Headed Relative Clause (IHRC) construction in Korean and Japanese. The IHRC construction exhibits a mismatch between the syntax and semantics and a delimited discourse-sensitivity in its interpretation. In recent literature, E-type pronoun analyses have been proposed to capture these properties of the construction (e.g., Hoshi 1995, Shimoyama 1999).
The existing E-type pronoun analyses have been successful in accounting for the syntax and semantics mismatch and the discourse-sensitivity of the construction, but they fail to explain why the discourse-sensitivity is delimited, that is, why the E-type pronoun needs to be formally linked to its semantic antecedent. This paper resolves this problem by proposing an interpretive tool which establishes a formal link between the E-type pronoun and the event structure of the embedded clause. In so doing, it shows that what is alleged to be a purely pragmatic phenomenon is in fact regulated by principles of grammar.

Keywords: IHRC, E-type pronoun, binding, eventuality

Source: Semantics Archive

Posted by Tony Marmo at 14:28 BST
Monday, 17 October 2005

Topic: Interconnections

On Sense and Direct Reference

By Ben Caplan

Sense Millianism and Object Fregeanism both appeal to modes of presentation to solve one group of problems about one group of cases (namely, those that concern intuitions about the cognitive value of simple sentences, about the truth-value of some propositional-attitude ascriptions, or about sentences that contain empty names); and both appeal to objects or singular propositions to solve another group of problems about another group of cases (namely, those that concern intuitions about the truth-value of simple sentences, about the modal and epistemic profile of simple sentences, or about the truth-value of other propositional-attitude ascriptions). One further problem for both views is to explain, in a principled way, why modes of presentation matter in the first group of cases but not in the second; and, conversely, why objects or singular propositions matter in the second group of cases but not in the first. This further problem is, it seems, pressing and difficult for both views.

Online Papers in Philosophy

Posted by Tony Marmo at 07:58 BST
Updated: Monday, 17 October 2005 08:09 BST
Tuesday, 11 October 2005


Diagonalization and Self-Reference

By Richard Heck

It is often said that diagonalization allows one to construct sentences that are self-referential. This paper investigates the sense in which that is true. I argue first that, in the standard language of arithmetic, in which we have only the symbols 0, S, +, and ?, truly self-referential sentences cannot be constructed. This is shown by considering sentences like The right-hand side of this biconditional is false iff its left-hand side is true. This sentence is intuitively inconsistent, but the sentence constructed by using diagonalization in the usual way is true and, in fact, provable in Q. This problem can be resolved by expanding the language to include function-symbols for all primitive recursive functions. It can also be resolved by proving a stronger form of the diagonal lemma that I call the structural diagonal lemma. At the end of the paper, it is suggested, however, that there are some contexts in which even these methods are insufficient.

Source: PH Online, Online Papers in Philosophy

Posted by Tony Marmo at 18:41 BST
Saturday, 8 October 2005

Topic: Interconnections

Semantic Conceptions of Information

A new article of the The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy has just been published:
Semantic Conceptions of Information
By Luciano Floridi

Posted by Tony Marmo at 19:34 BST
Updated: Saturday, 8 October 2005 19:37 BST
Sunday, 2 October 2005


Integrated pragmatic values

By Christopher Potts

I adapt recent results by Merin, Blutner, Jaeger, Krifka, van Rooy, and others to obtain integrated pragmatic values for utterances, thereby moving towards a precise definition of pragmatic felicity. I model speakers' perspectives with probability distributions over the set of possible worlds. The *quality-rating* of an utterance is an exponent of the speaker's probability value for its propositional content. An utterance's *quantity-rating* is the informativity of its content relative to the addressee's probabilities. I ensure that quality-ratings act as a check on quantity-ratings by taking the product of the two. I employ the notion of *relevance to a question* to further articulate these pragmatic values and arrive at a notion of *maximally felicitous utterance* (in context).

Keywords: pragmatics, probability, decision-theory, discourse particles, quality, quantity, relevance, litotes, pragmatic halos

Source: Semantics Archive

Posted by Tony Marmo at 10:17 BST
Friday, 30 September 2005


Types of degrees and types of event structures

By Patrick Caudal & David Nicolas

In this paper, we investigate how certain types of predicates should be connected with certain types of degree scales, and how this can affect the events they describe.
The distribution and interpretation of various degree adverbials will serve us as a guideline in this perspective. They suggest that two main types of degree scales should be distinguished:
(i) quantity scales, which are characterized by the semantic equivalence of Yannig ate the cake partially and Yannig ate part of the cake; quantity scales only appear with verbs possessing an incremental theme (cf. Dowty 1991);

(ii) intensity scales, which are characterized by degree modifiers (e.g., "extremely", "perfectly") receiving an intensive interpretation; intensity scales typically occur with verbs morphologically related to an adjective (to dry).

More generally, we capitalize on a typology of degree structures to explain how degrees play a central role with respect to event structure.

In C. Maienborn and A. W?llstein, Ed. Proceedings Event arguments: foundations and applications.

Source: Jean Nicod

Posted by Tony Marmo at 17:17 BST
Tuesday, 27 September 2005


Telic senses of deadjectival verbs

By Kate Kearns

In this paper I address two main issues in the semantics of deadjectival verbs.
First, I review alternative accounts of the nature of the telos associated with a deadjectival verb on a telic interpretation. Traditional accounts gloss the telic sense of a deadjectival verb as 'become A': for example, the telic interpretation of The sky cleared is 'The sky became clear'. On this account, the telos of the event denoted by telic clear is the onset of the state denoted by The sky is clear. An alternative account by Hay, Kennedy, and Levin (1999) is based on the property scale associated with an adjective and its derived verb. Property scales may be open, with no maximal degree of the property (i.e. no upper bound), or closed, in which case the property has a maximal possible degree beyond which no higher degrees of the property exist, and the maximal degree of the property constitutes the upper bound of the scale. Hay, Kennedy, and Levin argue that a telic interpretation arises where a deadjectival verb is interpreted with reference to a closed property scale. In the event denoted by a telic deadjectival verb, the theme of change traverses the property scale to the upper bound, the maximal possible degree of the property. For example, in The sky cleared on a telic interpretation, the sky is understood to traverse the scale of increasing degrees of clearness until the maximum possible degree of clearness is reached. On this account, the telos is the onset of the state in which the sky is maximally clear, such that it could not be clearer. I argue in favour of the traditional view that a telic deadjectival verb denotes 'become A', and against the alternative account that a telic deadjectival verb denotes 'become maximally A'.
By way of clarification preparatory to the main discussion, I show that deadjectival verbs have two types of telic sense, an achievement sense and an accomplishment sense. The telic sense at issue in the traditional telic/atelic contrast is the accomplishment sense.
I also argue that the availability of telic and atelic senses of deadjectival verbs is generally predictable from characteristics of the state denoted by x is A. The telic (accomplishment) sense of a deadjectival verb is available only if the property region that counts as 'A' has a lower bound (i.e. the least degree that counts as 'A') which is accessible to modification. The telic (accomplishment) sense is the strong default reading where x is A entails that x bears the maximal possible degree of the relevant property.

Keywords: deadjectival verbs; telicity; property scales; achievements; accomplishments; resultatives.

Source: Semantics Archive
To appear in Lingua

Posted by Tony Marmo at 08:30 BST
Updated: Tuesday, 27 September 2005 08:40 BST
Saturday, 24 September 2005


Context Dependent Quantifiers and Donkey Anaphora

By Jeffrey King

I have tried to give you an overview of the wide range of “non-donkey” data covered by the CDQ theory. I have also tried to gesture at certain methodological advantages the theory has over certain competitors. Finally, I have explained how the theory can handle donkey anaphora, by appealing to independently motivated accounts of the semantics of conditionals and adverbs of quantification. As a result of this, I hope to have convinced you that the CDQ account of anaphora and instantial terms is a promising one.

Source: Online Papers in Philosophy

Posted by Tony Marmo at 14:06 BST

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