LINGUIST List 16.1589|
Wed May 18 2005
Review: Semantics: Davis & Gillon (2004)
Editor for this issue: Naomi Ogasawara
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Semantics: A Reader
Message 1: Semantics: A Reader
From: Mikhail Kissine <mkissineulb.ac.be>
Subject: Semantics: A Reader
EDITORS: Davis, Steven; Gillon, Brendan S.
SUBTITLE: A Reader
PUBLISHER: Oxford University Press
Announced at http://linguistlist.org/issues/16/16-329.html
Mikhail Kissine, Laboratoire de Linguistique Textuelle et de Pragmatique
Cognitive, Aspirant FNRS, Free University of Brussels
The book is a collection of papers in semantics, most of which are
classical, previously published pieces of work.
Part I: Introduction, consists of chapters written by the editors.
In the Preliminaries, the editors set the purposes of the volume: they
provide an overview of theories that address meaning as a property of
expressions, that have been applied to a given range of linguistic
phenomena, and that are possible to evaluate. Such criteria of the choice
of articles are thus not constrained by the ontological commitments of the
theory, which, according to Davis and Gillon, should not take place prior
to semantic theorising.
The second chapter, Linguistics and Psychology, offers a summary of the
main theoretical positions on the nature linguistic ability, such as the
opposition between behaviourism and mentalism, and the dispute between
Chomskian partisans of an independent Language Acquisition Device and
defenders of non-modular approaches. The authors define the notion of I-
language (I-semantics), and discuss the way I-semantics (as the study of
internalised semantic ability) can be applied to a whole community of
The third chapter is entitled Linguistics and Logic. It provides a gradual
introduction to the main notions of formal semantics: propositional logic,
predicate logic and quantificational logic. Each notion is first
introduced with the help of simple formal examples and then applied to
selected phenomena of English. The introduction to quantificational logic
leads to the discussion of quantified noun phrases and different
approaches to it: Evans' conception of pronouns as going proxy for
definite descriptions, Discourse Representation Theory, and Dynamic
The fourth chapter, Theories of Reference and Theories of Meaning offers a
classification of semantic theories. Davidson's satisfaction theory, which
is given as an example of reference theories, is introduces and compared
with model-theoretical approaches. Meaning theories are divided in two:
atomic theories, that do not admit constituent internal to the lexemes,
and molecular theories, that admit sub-lexical compositional structures.
The molecular theories are sub-divided in analytic theories and
encyclopaedic theories. The former are exemplified by Pustejovsky's
approach, where analytical sentences are thought to give the meaning of
lexical entries. Jackendoff view, which admits encyclopaedic information
within concept constitution, illustrates the latter ones. Finally, the
authors expose approaches that attempt to account for both the meaning and
the reference: Frege's notions of sense and reference, and Kaplan's
distinction between character and content.
The next chapter, Internalist and Externalist Semantic Theories, expands
the former one. Internalist theories that assume that the lexical meaning
pertains totally to the I-grammar of speakers are again sub-divided in
atomic theories and molecular theories. The authors make a clear case
against atomic theories, which amount to postulating unanalysable
concepts, corresponding to lexical entries, within the language of
thought. They discuss next the problem raised for molecular theories by
entities that, form an ontological point of view, are not part of speakers
grammars, and hence, cannot be part of the language of thought. They
emphasise, however, that externalist theories are not incompatible with
the existence of internal grammars, i.e. with a mentalist approach to
semantics. Again, externalist theories are sub-divided into atomic,
Davidson-like, theories, and molecular theories, à la Pustejovsky and
Jackendoff. The authors discuss Frege's sense, Kaplan's character and
model-theoretical semantics with relation to the question of externalism.
This part is concluded by the suggestion, aimed at avoiding Putnam's
(1975) claim that 'meanings are not in the head', to treat meaning as a
set of rules defined with respect to an idealised speaker.
The final chapter, Semantics and Context, is devoted to the by-now
classical problem of contextual contribution to the content of utterances.
The authors argue against underlying place-holders, both syntactical (cf.
for instance Stanley 2000) or semantical, as follows from Kaplan's notion
of context. The end of the chapter contains an introduction to Relevance-
theoretical notion of the explicature of an utterance (e.g. Sperber and
Wilson 1995; Carston 1988, 2002). However, the authors point out that
Relevance apparatus may explain how the context determine the semantic
value in an epistemological sense of 'determine' only: since interpreters
are sometimes mistaken, the semantic value provided by mechanisms of
interpretation may not correspond to the actual semantic value of the
Finally, an appendix contains a very clear and condensed introduction to
the notions of set theory necessary to the apparatus of formal semantics.
Part II: Background
The first paper is Pelletier's "The Principle of Semantic
Compositionality". The author provides a discussion of arguments against
compositionality, and offers a method to get to a definition of semantic
evaluation in a way that is non-compositional and compatible with facts
about learnability and understandability of natural languages: such an
evaluation should be recursive but non-inductive, i.e. it must be grounded
by some basic operations. The paper is followed by originally
published "Afterthoughts 2000" and "Afterthoughts 2004". The author claims
that semantic atomism does not entail compositionality, and, consequently,
that the possibility of non-compositional but atomistic semantic
theorising constitutes a powerful argument against holism. He expresses
also some doubts regarding holism in other fields. Finally, Pelletier
makes a case for compositionality to be understood as a function of all
syntactic components, and for empirical importance of compositionality.
The second paper is Gillon's original "Ambiguity, Indeterminacy, Deixis,
and Vagueness", which draws clear-cut boundaries between these four
concepts. The main part of the article shows that the most liable way to
define ambiguity is the plurality of possible label bracketing, and the
most reliable test to detect it is the existence of conflicting truth
judgement, each of which is coupled with a different circumstance of
evaluation. Ambiguity is then contrasted with indeterminacy (that admits,
unlike ambiguity, endophoric expressions with a different sense than their
antecedent), with deixis (that sets the context of evaluation), and with
vagueness (that consists in conflicting truth-value judgement with respect
to the same circumstance of evaluation).
Part III: Approaches contains a series of foundational papers that
exemplify different streams in semantic theorising.
This part begins with Lewis' "General Semantics", where is developed a
semantics for natural languages based on categorial context-free grammars.
While for primitive categories (e.g. NP) intension is a function from
indices to extensions, for derived categories (adjectives, VPs, adverbs)
intensions are complex, that is, corresponding to functions from
intensions to intensions. Lewis defines meaning as "semantically
interpreted phrase markers minus their terminal nodes" (p. 119).
Lewis's paper is followed by Davidson's very influential "Truth and
Meaning". It contains a famous version of the 'Slingshot argument',
according to which a proposition may correspond to whichever fact, and the
formulation of a Tarskian holistic semantics for natural languages.
Kamp's paper "A Theory of Truth and Semantic Representation" is an early
formulation of Discourse Representation Theory, further developed in Kamp
and Reyle (1993). The principles of this non-compositional theory that
attributes truth-conditions to intermediate representations (Discourse
Representation Structures, which capture, in addition to truth-conditional
information, availability for anaphoric relations) are discussed with the
relation to quantificational noun phrases.
Groenendijk and Stokhof's "Dynamic Predicate Logic" represents an opposite
solution to the same problem: truth is defined with respect to the
assignment functions in a way to keep track of the context change, which
allows quantifiers to get scope over conjunctions and sentence boundaries,
and provides the right interpretations for "donkey sentences".
Barwise and Perry's "Situations and Attitudes" is an outline of Situation
Semantics (see Barwise and Perry 1983) based on a discussion of attitude
reports: meanings are taken to be relations between utterances and
situations, i.e. between states of affairs consisting of entities, events,
states, and relations between them (which implies a realistic stance
Jackendoff's paper "What Is a Concept, That a Person May Grasp It" is a
very clear and representative example of internalist generative theories
that position themselves as incompatible with model-theoretic semantics.
The organisation of concepts is thought of in terms of fundamental
categories, realised in function-argument structure. This internal
structure is used to account for the sameness of patterns across different
semantic fields. The model also integrates outputs from other cognitive
systems, such as vision.
The last paper of the second part is Fauconnier's "Mental Spaces, Language
Modalities, Conceptual Integration". The paper offers a clear and
summarised introduction to the theory of mental spaces (cf. for instance
Fauconnier 1994), where grammatical information is seen as providing a
skeleton for the construction of conceptual spaces, and the paths of
access between them. It outlines a treatment of coreference, tenses and
conceptual blending, and offers examples from American Sign Language.
Part IV: Topics
The first two papers pertain to lexical semantics.
Pustejovksy's "Generative Lexicon" as an analytical theory of lexical
meanings that offers rules for the generation of new lexical meanings.
Each lexical entry is composed by its quale structure, its argument
structure and its inheritance (relatively to other concept) structure.
Meaning is viewed as being flexible, and arising generatively by
composition of lexemes.
Gillon's "Towards a common semantics for English count and mass noun"
offers, as its title indicates, a unified account for count and mass
nouns. Counts nouns are associated with the feature +CT, that allows a
free selection of grammatical number + or -PL, while mass noun have the
feature -CT, and are associated either +PL or -PL. The feature -CT
associates with the name the greatest aggregate of which the name or the
NP is true, while +CT associates a set of all minimal aggregations of
which the name or the NP is true.
Burge's "Reference and proper names" defends a view according to which
proper names are not abbreviations of predicates of the kind of "X is the
name of _" or individual constants. Instead, proper names are analysed as
playing the role of demonstratives and of such predicates at the same time.
The next two articles are devoted to the problem of the semantic status of
pronouns. Evan's paper "Pronouns" argues against the view that the
referents of bound pronouns are determined by extra-linguistic factors.
Instead, using a Fregean notion of satisfaction (according to which object
x satisfies a predicate A, iff A(b) is true, such that b is an expression
referring to x,), Evans argues that pronouns are co-referential with their
antecedents. The pronouns that have a quantifier phrase as antecedent (E-
type pronouns, in Evan's terminology) and are not bound by the quantifier
of that phrase are analysed as referring to those objects only that verify
The same topic is addressed within the Government and Binding framework by
Higginbotham's "Pronouns and bound variables". The core idea of the
article is that pronouns are variables coindexed with its antecedents:
this is achieved thanks to a reindexing rule that deletes the bound
pronoun referential index and thus leaves only the anaphoric index
The next paper is the foundational Barwise and Cooper's "Generalized
quantifiers and Natural Language". The main insight of generalised
quantification, as applied to natural languages, is to treat quantifiers
as constituted by the combination of a determiner and a set expression,
and to take them as denoting families of sets. Beyond the surface level,
every natural language contains an NP constituent that express generalised
quantification over the domain of discourse. Among the most important
achievements of Barwise and Cooper are probably the distinctions between
strong and weak quantifiers, and monotone decreasing and monotone
decreasing quantifiers. More generally, the paper illustrates the
possibility to study of linguistic competence with the help of logical
tools (like the notions of validity and inference).
The next topic is the semantics of tense. An excerpt from Reichenbach's
Elements of Symbolic Logic, "The Tense of Verbs", contains the seminal
formalisation of English tense system with the help of the threefold
distinction between the time of the event, the time of reference, and the
time of speech.
Barbara Partee, in "Some Structural Analogies between Tenses and Pronouns
in English", makes a case for introducing time variables in the logical
form of sentences, and not treating tenses as time operators. She notices
that present tense may be used only deictically, like "I", while the past
tense has also a referential reading, like "they", and may be used as
Kamp's paper "Two theories about adjectives" starts by exposing the
analysis of adjectives as being functions from meanings of NP's to
meanings of NP's, and rejecting the view according to which some
adjectives are functions from properties to properties. In order to solve
the problem posed by comparatives to the former theory, an alternative
theory of vagueness is defended, where some sentences do not pertain to
the union of the set of all true sentences and all false sentences. This
account, which maintains that adjectives are one-place predicates,
predicts that in absence of contextual criteria of comparison two
sentences containing a given adjective cannot be judged false or true.
In "Prepositions and points of view", Cresswell provides a lambda-
categorial formalisation aimed at capturing the perspectival information
contained in prepositions, such as "across", without treating the point of
view as a contextual index. The basic machinery for doing so is
associating a time interval with each possible world and introducing a
path function p over moments m, such that (p,a,w)(m) is the space occupied
by a at m in w.
Three papers address the semantics of adverbs. Bellart's "On semantics and
distributional properties of sentential adverbs" questions the two-partite
division of adverbs into predicative adverbs (e.g. "slowly") and
sentential adverbs (e.g. "fortunately", "possibly"). In addition to
semantic criteria, distributional properties, which take into account the
position of the adverb and the semantic category of its admissible
arguments, provide a more fine-grained classification among sentential
The distinction between predicative adverbs, formalised as functions from
singulary proposition functions to singulary proposition functions, and
sentential adverbs, formalised as functions from propositions to
propositions, originates from Thomason and Stalnaker's paper, "A semantic
theory of adverbs", which is reprinted in this volume after Bellart's
paper. Four sufficient conditions to be a sentential adverb are put
forward: (a) inducing opaque contexts, (b) giving rise to scope
ambiguities, (c) including a sentence modifier within its scope (d) being
replaceable by "It is ADVERB true that".
Lewis' paper, "Adverbs of quantification", deals with adverbs
like "always, sometimes, never, usually, frequently, rarely etc". Instead
of taking them as quantifying over times or events, Lewis analyses these
adverbs as quantifiers over cases (a case being an acceptable assignment
of values to the free variables of the modified sentence): such adverbs
bind unselectively all the free variables of the sentence in which they
occur. The paper also contains a discussion of devices used to restrict
the admissible assignments (e.g. "if"-clauses).
Approaches to connectives are illustrated by papers by Posner, Gazdar and
Jennings. Posner's "Semantics and pragmatics of sentence connectives in
natural language" defends a Gricean approach, which preserves a truth-
conditional semantics for connectives and provides additional meanings by
contextual enrichments driven by pragmatic considerations.
Gazdar's "A cross-categorial semantics for coordination" analyses non-
sentential coordination as the union of properties denoted by NPs or VPs.
An original paper by Jennings, "The meaning of connectives" is a plea
against truth-conditional semantic theory. The first part of the paper
attempts to show that standard truth-conditional analysis of the
connective "or", even augmented with Gricean mechanisms, cannot account
for all the uses of it in English. More particularly, it is pointed out
that "or" may have disjunctive as well as conjunctive uses. Then it is
claimed that no satisfactory truth-conditional account may be provided
for "but", since it can also have both disjunctive and conjunctive uses.
Jennings outlines next a biological theory of meaning, whose purpose is to
apply methods from population biology to the syntax of sentences. The
origin of connectors is traced back to spatial or temporal meanings in
order to individuate contemporary meanings. The meaning of an n-tuple
predicate is taken to apply to a set of n-tuples of which it has been
claimed that this predicate is true. Since, across time this set is
uniformly increased, the meaning of the predicate becomes less and less
specified. The next step is allotropy, where a sentence may yield two
different syntactic representations with the same satisfaction-conditions.
When syntactic differences do yield a difference in satisfaction-
conditions, lexical items may receive a new meaning, in order to preserve
the sameness of satisfaction conditions. These processes are exemplified
with different connectors, the process of shortening of scope being
discussed in more detail.
Non-declarative sentences are discussed in the next two papers. The core
idea of Higginbotham's "Interrogatives" is that interrogative sentences
express abstract questions, i.e. mutually exclusive and non-empty
partitions of the possible states of the worlds. It is to abstract
questions that reference is made in indirect questions.
Vanderveken's original article, "Success, satisfaction, and truth in the
logic of speech acts and formal semantics" offers an up-to-date summary of
the illocutionary logic (Searle and Vanderveken 1985; Vanderveken 1990,
1991). In this approach, primary units of meanings are illocutionary acts,
whose force is determined by the conditions of success, and whose
satisfaction is determined by the correspondence between the propositional
content and the world (i.e. the truth of the propositional content) and
the direction of this correspondence. The set of all possible
illocutionary forces is defined recursively with the help of the six
components of the illocutionary force: the illocutionary point, the mode
of achievement, the conditions on the propositional content, the
preparatory conditions, the sincerity condition and the degree of
strength. The truth-conditions of the propositional content are formulated
in way that allows the understanding senses of propositions without
knowing their denotation: the truth-conditions of a proposition in a given
circumstance are all those truth-conditions associated with its atomic
propositions that make the proposition true with respect to that
circumstance. New semantic relations are defined: illocutionary entailment
(the speakers cannot perform an illocutionary act P without eo ipso
performing an illocutionary act Q), truth-conditional entailment (P cannot
be satisfied unless Q is satisfied), illocutionary entailment of
satisfaction (the success of P entails the satisfaction of Q), and truth-
conditional entailment of success (the satisfaction of P entails the
success of Q).
The last paper of this part is Davidson seminal "The logical form of
action sentences", which introduces events in the ontology of semantic
theory, in order to allow entailments like the one from "John butters a
toast in the bathroom at midnight" to "John butters a toast". Action names
are thus taken to be alternative descriptions of events, i.e. predicates
that take events as one of their arguments.
Part IV: Context Dependency
The first paper of this part, devoted to contextual influences on
semantics, is Kaplan's "Demonstratives". It contains an explicit and
detailed statement of Kaplan's distinction between "the character of an
expression", i.e. a function from contexts to contents, and "the content
of an expression", i.e. a function from circumstances of evaluation to
individuals. Demonstratives and indexical are taken to be directly
referential, since they have a character that determine always the same
function from context to content, and hence is not part of the content of
the proposition expressed by sentences in which they occur. A further
crucial point is that contingency and necessity are notions that are
applicable to content only, while logical truth applies exclusively to the
In "Truth and Demonstratives", Weinstein attempts to formulate Tarskian
truth-conditions for non-eternal sentences, i.e. sentences that contain
demonstratives and indexicals. The new T-sentence contains, on the left-
hand the truth-predicate that has for argument a meta-language variable
corresponding to the utterance of s (s being the structural description of
the sentence uttered), such that all the referents of demonstrative
pronouns of s correspond to variables of the meta-language, and, on the
right-hand, the translation in the meta-language, obtained by replacing
the nth occurrence of demonstrative pronouns by the nth variable of the
Lewis' "Score-keeping in a language game", exposes the by-now famous idea
of accommodation -- the psychological mechanism that corrects the
interpretation of the conversational events in a way to fit the rules on
which the kinematics of the conversation depends. The illustrations used
are presupposition (the audience tends to assume the truth of the
presupposed proposition), permission utterances (that shift the boundaries
of what is permissible), definite descriptions (the audience tends to
assume that there is a salient referent in the domain of discourse
corresponding to it), the shift of the spatial point of reference by the
verbs 'going' and 'coming', the vagueness in the applicability of some
predicates (here the accommodation increases the standards of the
applicability), the domain of application of modals, the truth of
performative utterances and planning.
Carston's original paper "Explicature and semantics" is a Relevance-
theoretical survey of the solutions provided to the problem of the
existence of phonologically unrealised components of meaning. More
particularly, she argues against the 'Indexicalist' view that postulates
hidden variables within the logical form, sometimes bound and sometimes
free: among the counter-arguments Carston puts forward are the unnecessary
proliferation of hidden variables, the difficulty to set the boundary
between cases where the variables are free and those where they are bound,
and the difficulty to find hidden variables for some examples. She
provides a Relevance-theoretical solution, in which the logical form of
the sentence, -- output of the linguistic decoding module--, provides a
mere blueprint to the interpretation module (which is part of a more
general mind-reading module). Since each utterance comes with the
presumption of optimal Relevance, the audience fills in indexicals
(saturation), expands the logical form (free enrichment), and, adapts some
concepts, all that done in way to derive the maximal cognitive benefit and
minimise the processing effort.
Stainton's paper, "Quantifier phrases, meaningfulness 'in isolation', and
ellipsis" is a good illustration of the problem of sub-sentential
utterances. He argues that quantifiers phrase do not contribute to the
sentence meaning without being part of it: they correspond to generalised
quantifiers, i.e. to functions from sets to propositions. When they occur
in isolation (e.g. 'Six apples' uttered in a grocery) the second set is
provided pragmatically, through a Relevance-driven process. Such
quantifier phrases in isolation are not to be assimilated to non-natural
meaning, since their interpretation depends on their constituents,
combined in a compositional way. Neither do they exhibit the behaviour
peculiar to ellipsis, that is, of to phonologically shortened sequences
that correspond to the same underlying syntactic structure as non-
The volume brings together very much of foundational literature of
contemporary semantic theory, and manages to provide a broad sample of
existing approaches and problems. The organisation is very neat and handy.
In this respect, the book may be of great use to academics and advanced
students in semantics. To be sure, an unfamiliar reader must be prevented
that many articles do not reflect anymore the present state of the art.
For instance, Discourse Representation Theory (DRT) has evolved in many
aspects since Kamp's paper, originally published in 1981 (for instance, in
the treatment of generalised quantification with the help of duplex
conditions). Likewise, event semantics has known great changes since
Davidson's original article.
Related to this point is the question whether it is possible to use the
book as a textbook for students in semantics. It seems that this is one of
the points of the extensive introduction: the topics addressed are
systematically related to some of the articles. However, some parts seem
too terse for a beginner, and too tedious for the scholar. More
particularly, even if the second chapter "Linguistics and Logic" provides
a very clear introduction to propositional and predicate calculus, the
discussion on DRT is very dense and short, which makes me doubt that it
could be of a great use to the unfamiliar reader, or bring new insights
for a familiar one. Perhaps, the same remarks could apply to some parts of
the chapter "Semantic and Context". It is regretful that the authors
devote much of space to Relevance theory, already exposed in great detail
Carston's paper, without mentioning alternative approaches like Recanati's
(e.g. Recanati 1989, 2004) or default-interpretations ones (e.g. Levinson
Gillon's, Vanderveken's and Carston's original articles provide clear and
good overviews in their respective domains. More controversial to my mind
is Jennings paper. More particularly, I would like to point out a
potential counter-argument to the first part of the paper, which contains
a case against truth-conditional accounts of English connective 'or'.
Jennings argues that, since in sentences like (1) 'or' has a conjunctive
meaning, it cannot be analysed along the truth tables of the logical
(1) You may do this or you may do that.
This latter fact still does not show that a truth-theoretical account of
disjunction is impossible. For instance, some authors (Zimmermann 2000;
Geurts forthcoming) analyse disjunction as a conjunction of modalities,
which gives a unified account for (1) and (2):
(2) He will come or he will not come.
Hence, even if the origin of 'or' is traceable back to several distinct
sources, it is still not shown that a unified formal account for the
contemporary uses of 'or' is impossible.
As for the truth-conditional analysis of 'but', which Jennings claims to
be impossible, it is a widely accepted fact in neo-Gricean theories that
such elements do not pertain to the logico-conceptual structure of the
utterance, but rather play a procedural role by restricting the possible
contexts of interpretation (cf. Blakemore 1987). This is quite in line
with Jennings claim that 'but'-clauses discriminate some operations on
inferential effect produced by utterances.
To conclude, I believe that the volume will be of great use for anyone
working in semantics. I recommend also its use for teaching purposes, for
it contains the most important illustrations of virtually all the topics
one may want to address in a course in semantics.
Barwise, J. and J. Perry (1983) Situations and attitudes. Cambridge,
Mass.: MIT Press.
Blakemore, D. (1987) Semantic constraints on Relevance. Oxford: Blackwell.
Carston, R. (1988) "Implicature, explicature and truth-theoretic
semantics." In R. M. Kempson (ed.) Mental Representations: the interface
between language and reality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.
Carston, R. (2002) Thoughts and Utterances. The pragmatics of explicit
communication. Oxford: Blackwell.
Fauconnier, G. (1994) Mental spaces: aspects of meaning construction in
natural language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Geurts, B. (forthcoming) "Entertaining alternatives: disjunctions as
Kamp, H. and U. Reyle (1993) From discourse to logic : introduction to
modeltheoretic semantics of natural language, formal logic and discourse
representation theory. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
Levinson, S. C. (2000) Presumptive meanings : the theory of generalized
conversational implicature. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Putnam, H. (1975) "The meaning of 'meaning'." In K. Gunderson (ed.)
Language, Mind and Knowledge. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press,
Recanati, F. (1989) "The pragmatics of what is said." Mind and Language,
4, pp. 295-329.
Recanati, F. (2004) Literal meaning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Searle, J. R. and D. Vanderveken (1985) Foundations of Illocutionary
Logic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Sperber, D. and D. Wilson (1995) Relevance: Communication and Cognition.
Stanley, J. (2000) "Context and logical form." Linguistics and Philosophy,
23(4), pp. 391-434.
Vanderveken, D. (1990) Meaning and Speech Acts: Volume I: Principles of
language use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Vanderveken, D. (1991) Meaning and Speech Acts: Volume II: Formal
semantics of success and satisfaction. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Zimmermann, E. (2000) "Free choice disjunction and epistemic possibility."
Natural Language Semantics, 8, pp. 255 - 90.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Mikhail Kissine is a PhD student at the Laboratoire de Linguistique
Textuelle et de Pragmatique Cognitive, Université Libre de Bruxelles with
the financial support of the Fond National de la Recherche Scientifique.
His thesis investigates the cognitive factors that make possible the
interpretation of speech acts. It is an attempt to combine recent findings
in cognitive linguistics with more traditional approaches to pragmatics
and semantics, and to contribute to current debates on the
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