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LINGUISTIX&LOGIK, Tony Marmo's blog
Saturday, 23 December 2006

Deskewing the Searlean Picture: New Speech Act Ontology for Linguistics

By Dietmar Zaefferer

The overall aim of this paper is to present a speech act ontology that is motivated by general assumptions about the nature of human language and implicational universals about the grammatical coding of illocutionary force (sentence mood markers). In particular, I want to show five things:

  • First, that the Searlean picture is skewed in that it misrepresents universally attested distinctions, overemphasizes non-universal aspects of human language and misses important generalizations;
  • second, that a linguistically more fruitful picture can be developed on the basis of implicational universals that constrain the range of possible codings of sentence mood and other modalities;
  • third, that this linguistic picture can be grounded on very few elementary and universally valid assumptions about the nature of human language and its functions;
  • fourth, that this grammatically motivated reconstruction helps in analyzing intricate syntactic patterns that interrelate German clause types;
  • and last, that the Searlean picture can be embedded into the linguistic picture in such a way that nothing gets lost in the deschewing process that merits preservation.
  • Keywords: speech act classification, clause types, sentence mood, Searle, ontology
    Source: Semantics Archive


    Posted by Tony Marmo at 23:36 GMT
    Wednesday, 20 December 2006


    On truth-schemes for intensional logics

    By Janusz Czelakowski and Wieslaw Dziobiak

    The paper is concerned with the question of definability of truth-conditions for the connectives of intensional logics. A certain general solution of the problem is proposed for the class of self-extensional logics. The paper develops some ideas initiated by Suszko and Wojcicki in the seventies.

    Source: Reports on Mathematical Logic 41 (2006)


    Posted by Tony Marmo at 20:30 GMT
    Thursday, 23 November 2006


    Scope Dominance with Upward Monotone Quantifiers

    By Alon Altman, Ya'acov Peterzil & Yoad Winter

    We give a complete characterization of the class of upward monotone generalized quantifiers Q1 and Q2 over countable domains that satisfy the scheme Q1xQ2Q2yQ1.
    This generalizes the characterization of such quantifiers over finite domains, according to which the scheme holds iff Q1 is ∃ or Q2 is ∀ (excluding trivial cases). Our result shows that in innite domains, there are more general types of quantifiers that support these entailments.

    Published in Journal of Logic, Language and Information, Volume 14, Number 4, October 2005, pp. 445-455(11)

    Link to the article in the Journal
    Author's Link


    Posted by Tony Marmo at 00:26 GMT
    Updated: Saturday, 25 November 2006 19:51 GMT


    Evidentiality, Modality and Probability

    By Eric McCready & Norry Ogata

    We show in this paper that some expressions indicating source of evidence are part of propositional content and are best analyzed as a special kind of epistemic modal. Our evidence comes from the Japanese evidential system. We consider six evidentials in Japanese, showing that they can be embedded in conditionals and under modals and that their properties with respect to modal subordination are similar to those of ordinary modals. We show that these facts are difficult for existing theories of evidentials, which assign evidentials necessarily widest scope, to explain. We then provide an analysis using a logical system designed to account for evidential reasoning; this logic is the first developed system of probabilistic dynamic predicate logic. This analysis is shown to account for the data we provide that is problematic for other theories.

    Keywords: evidentiality, modality, probability, Japanese, dynamic semantics

    Source: Semantics Archive


    Posted by Tony Marmo at 00:01 GMT
    Updated: Saturday, 25 November 2006 19:48 GMT
    Saturday, 11 November 2006

    Topic: Ontology&possible worlds

    Essence and Modality

    By Edward N. Zalta

    Recently, K. Fine raised counterexamples to the the traditional definition of essential property in terms of modality. On the traditional definition, ‘property F is essential to object x' is defined in terms of the modal claim ‘necessarily, if x exists, then x is F'. The definiens, it is argued, is not a sufficient condition for the definiendum. One counterexample, which assumes modal set theory, is that (a) necessarily, if Socrates exists, then he has the property being a member of {Socrates}, but (b) the property being a member of {Socrates} is not essential to Socrates. Another counterexample (which assumes the existence of an object not identical to Socrates (e.g., the Eiffel Tower). Fine suggests that (a) necessarily, if Socrates exists, then he has the property of being distinct from the Eiffel Tower, but (b) the property being distinct from the Eiffel Tower is not essential to Socrates, since "nothing in Socrates' nature connects him in any special way to the Eiffel Tower".

    In this paper, I analyze the relationship between essence and modality and reconsider the above counterexamples in light of the logic and theory of abstract objects. This axiomatic theory offers a foundational metaphysics and yields a clear analysis of the nature of abstract objects in general and mathematical objects such as {Socrates}. The theory is consistent with our intuitions about what ordinary objects there are, and the underlying logic offers a new understanding of the properties essential to ordinary objects. The analysis of mathematical and other abstract objects offers a more refined view of their essential properties than that offered by modal set theory.

    In the paper,, the claim ‘x has F necessarily' becomes ambiguous in its application to abstract objects. In the case of ordinary objects, the definition of ‘F is essential to x' be reconstructed in several ways. The conclusion is that the traditional definition of essential property for abstract objects in terms of modal notions is not correct, but not because of Fine's first counterexample. Moreover, in the case of ordinary objects, the relationship between essential properties and modality, once properly understood, can handle the second counterexample.

    Published in Mind, Volume 115/Issue 459 (July 2006): 659-693


    Posted by Tony Marmo at 03:01 GMT
    Sunday, 29 October 2006



    By Janusz Ciuciura

    In the late forties, Stanislaw Jaskowski published two papers on the discursive (or discussive) sentential calculus, D2. He provided a definition of it by an interpretation in the language of S5 of Lewis. The known axiomatization of D2 with discursive connectives as primitives was introduced by da Costa, Dubikajtis and Kotas in 1977. It turns out, however, that one of the axioms they used is not a thesis of the real Ja?›kowski's calculus. In fact, they built a new system, D*2 for short, that differs from D2 in many respects. The aim of this paper is to introduce a direct Kripke-type semantics for the system, axiomatize it in a new way and prove soundness and completeness theorems. Additionally, we present labeled tableaux for D*2.

    Keywords: discursive (discussive) logic, D2, paraconsistent logic, labelled tableaux.
    Published in Logic and Logical Philosophy, Volume 14 (2005), 235-252

    Posted by Tony Marmo at 01:47 BST
    Thursday, 26 October 2006

    Topic: Interconnections

    The complexity of theorem-proving procedures

    By Stephen A. Cook

    It is shown that any recognition problem solved by a polynomial time-bounded nondeterministic Turing machine can be "reduced" to the problem of determining whether a given propositional formula is a tautology. Here "reduced" means, roughly speaking, that the first problem can be solved deterministically in polynomial time provided an oracle is available for solving the second. From this notion of reducible, polynomial degrees of difficulty are defined, and it is shown that the problem of determining tautologyhood has the same polynomial degree as the problem of determining whether the first of two given graphs is isomorphic to a subgraph of the second. Other examples are discussed. A method of measuring the complexity of proof procedures for the predicate calculus is introduced and discussed.

    In Proceedings of the 3rd ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, pages 151--158, 1971
    Author's link (a compressed pdf file of a scanned version)
    Other link


    Posted by Tony Marmo at 18:37 BST
    Friday, 20 October 2006

    Topic: Interconnections

    The Concept of Mathematical Elucidation:
    theory and problems

    By José Seoane

    There is a contrast between concepts which may be treated in accordance with the criteria of mathematical rigor and concepts which are not susceptible of such a treatment. We will call theoretical concepts to the former and pre-theoretical to the latter. In mathematical world, sentences which relate theoretical and pre-theoretical concepts (in a determinated way) are denominated thesis; sentences which relate only theoretical concepts (in a determinated way) are denominated theorems. Elucidatory processes in mathematics have thesis as their principal output. I intend to establish in this paper that the introduction of the concept of mathematical elucidation has an important theoretical value to the effects of studying a certain special type of intended conceptual relation and a certain type of justificatory argumentation for it. The analysis of the contrast between thesis and theorems will allow us to construct a context where the interest for those conceptual relations and their supporting justificatory mechanisms arises naturally. Then, I will attempt to offer some structural features of mathematical elucidation qua conceptual relation and their impact on the strategies of elucidatory justification. This is what I grandiloquently call theory in the heading. I will suggest also a classification of the problems which a theoretical reflexion as the one proposed may contribute to clarify and I will make some brief observations on some paradigmatic examples of each one of the categories of the classification constructed. This work should be considered as a modest definition of a sort of research program.

    Source: CLE e-prints

    Posted by Tony Marmo at 18:27 BST
    Friday, 6 October 2006


    Worlds and Times

    By Ulrich Meyer

    There are many parallels between the role of possible worlds in modal logic and that of times in tense logic. But the similarities only go so far, and it is important to note where the two come apart. This paper argues that even though worlds and times play similar roles in the model theories of modal and tense logic, there is no tense analogue of the possible-worlds analysis of modal operators. An important corollary of this result is that presentism cannot be the tense analogue of actualism.

    Keywords: tense logic; modal logic; times; possible worlds; actuality operator; presentism; actualism

    Published in The Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic
    An unpublished version may be downloaded from the Author's page

    Posted by Tony Marmo at 19:09 BST
    Friday, 29 September 2006


    Induction and Comparison

    By Paul Pietroski

    Logical induction may be important for theoretical linguistics, even if children do not induce languages from experience. Either our human capacities for inductive reasoning lie near the heart of our capacity to generate and understand expressions of a human language, or not. If they do, then theoretically minded linguists should try to understand human inductive capacities and the kinds of understanding they make possible, independent of other cognitive capacities. If not, then we should be clear about this, and not pretend otherwise-say, by adopting semantic theories that exploit the full resources of the logic that Frege used to reduce arithmetic to Hume's Principle. But suppose our best theories of language do presuppose that speakers have inductive capacities. Then considerations of theoretical parsimony suggest that we theorists should squeeze as much as we can from our representations of human inductive capacities, before adding controversial assumptions about how speakers understand expressions. This leaves room for hypotheses according to which speakers understand certain sentences in terms of covert quantification over abstracta.

    Source: Semantics Archive


    Posted by Tony Marmo at 14:58 BST

    Now Playing: Reposted

    Quantification and Second-Order Monadicity

    By Paul M. Pietroski

    Once we grant that grammatical structure can be as complicated as logical structure, and just as distant from audible features of word strings, we can approach the study of human cognition by combining the insights of modern logic (and not just its first-order fragment) and linguistics. Those deciding where to invest might want to compare this project, in terms of the results it has delivered and its potential for delivering more in the foreseeable future, with alternative projects that philosophers of language and mind have been pursuing. My bias in this regard will be evident. Though a more dispassionate assessment might lead to much the same conclusion: for now, our best hope of learning something important about the structure of thought-and giving substance to the ancient idea of language as a mirror of the mind-lies with figuring out how Frege, Chomsky, Montague, Davidson, and many others could each be importantly right, and no doubt wrong, about the same thing: namely, the shared syntactic/semantic structure of our sentences/thoughts. My suggestion is that this structure is more conjunctive, monadic, and second-order than one might think.

    Source: Semantics Archive


    Posted by Tony Marmo at 00:01 BST
    Updated: Friday, 29 September 2006 15:00 BST
    Friday, 1 September 2006

    Topic: Interconnections

    Truth and the Unprovability of Consistency

    By Hartry Field

    It might be thought that we could argue for the consistency of a mathematical theory T within T, by giving an inductive argument that all theorems of T are true and inferring consistency. By Gödel's second incompleteness theorem any such argument must break down, but just how it breaks down depends on the kind of theory of truth that is built into T. The paper surveys the possibilities, and suggests that some theories of truth give far more intuitive diagnoses of the breakdown than do others. The paper concludes with some morals about the nature of validity and about a possible alternative to the idea that mathematical theories are indefinitely extensible.

    Under review

    Professor Field is one of the leading advocates of the Deflationary Theory of Truth and his views are among the most challenging ones at the turn of the century. This papers tries to tackle one of the most difficult and most important Philosophical issues of the XXth century.

    Posted by Tony Marmo at 00:01 BST
    Updated: Thursday, 31 August 2006 23:22 BST
    Thursday, 24 August 2006

    Topic: Interconnections

    Semantic computations of truth, based on associations already learned 

    By Patrick Suppes & Jean-Yves Beziau

    In this article we try to give an account of how one determines the truth or falsity of sentences like: Paris is the capital of France, Paris is not the capital of France, Rome is the capital of France. We want to describe the computations underlying the answers given, taking into account, at least in a qualitative way, the time factor what psychologists call the latency of a response. Our theory should be able to explain the data gathered by experimentation, for example, why it takes more time to give a negative answer than a positive one, be it true or false. But the important theoretical question is what is the actual method of computation, a problem not ordinarily considered in philosophical theories of truth, but also not subject to direct empirical observation.

    Posted by Tony Marmo at 04:01 BST
    Updated: Thursday, 24 August 2006 04:06 BST
    Wednesday, 9 August 2006

    Topic: Interconnections

    Intensional Models for the Theory of Types

    By Reinhard Muskens

    In this paper we define intensional models for the classical theory of types, thus arriving at an intensional type logic ITL. Intensional models generalize Henkin's general models and have a natural definition. As a class they do not validate the axiom of Extensionality. We give a cut-free sequent calculus for type theory and show completeness of this calculus with respect to the class of intensional models via a model existence theorem. After this we turn our attention to applications. Firstly, it is argued that, since ITL is truly intensional, it can be used to model ascriptions of propositional attitude without predicting logical omniscience. In order to illustrate this a small fragment of English is defined and provided with an ITL semantics. Secondly, it is shown that ITL models contain certain objects that can be identified with possible worlds. Essential elements of modal logic become available within classical type theory once the axiom of Extensionality is given up.

    Source: Semantics Archive, To appear in the The Journal of Symbolic Logic


    Posted by Tony Marmo at 18:08 BST
    Updated: Thursday, 24 August 2006 04:07 BST
    Wednesday, 26 July 2006

    Topic: Cognition & Epistemology


    By Peter Murphy

    This paper looks at an argument strategy for assessing the epistemic closure principle. This is the principle that says knowledge is closed under known entailment; or (roughly) if S knows p and S knows that p entails q, then S knows that q. The strategy in question looks to the individual conditions on knowledge to see if they are closed. According to one conjecture, if all the individual conditions are closed, then so too is knowledge. I give a deductive argument for this conjecture. According to a second conjecture, if one (or more) condition is not closed, then neither is knowledge. I give an inductive argument for this conjecture. In sum, I defend the strategy by defending the claim that knowledge is closed if, and only if, all the conditions on knowledge are closed. After making my case, I look at what this means for the debate over whether knowledge is closed.

    Forthcoming in Erkenntnis

    Posted by Tony Marmo at 17:41 BST

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