Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Wiley-Blackwell Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

The Vulgar Tongue: Green's History of Slang

By Jonathon Green

A comprehensive history of slang in the English speaking world by its leading lexicographer.


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

The Universal Structure of Categories: Towards a Formal Typology

By Martina Wiltschko

This book presents a new theory of grammatical categories - the Universal Spine Hypothesis - and reinforces generative notions of Universal Grammar while accommodating insights from linguistic typology.


New from Brill!

ad

Brill's MyBook Program

Do you have access to Dynamics of Morphological Productivity through your library? Then you can by the paperback for only €25 or $25! Find out more about Brill's MyBook program!


Book Information

   
Sun Image

Title: Descriptions in Context
Written By: Cleo A. Condoravdi
Description:

Standard semantic theories of indefinite descriptions, including both those that analyze them as inherently existentially quantified and those that analyze them as non-quantificational, variable-contributing elements , predict that indefinites always have existential force if outside the scope of any operator, that they assert rather than presuppose existence, and that they are not essentially context-sensitive. In this work the author shows that bare plural indefinite descriptions in English, in one of their readings, do not have existential force, that even in the absence of any operator, they presuppose rather than assert existence, and that they are crucially context-sensitive. This reading, called the called the "functional reading," is argued to constitute a distinct interpretation that cannot be subsumed under the regular generic or existential interpretation. The author develops an analysis that captures the similarities and differences between indefinites with the functional reading and definites within the framework of dynamic semantics. The universal quantificational force, the existential presupposition, and the context-sensitivity associated with the functional reading follow from the felicity conditions. Bare plural indefinite descriptions are associated with and general principles governing informational accommodation and contextually salient functions invoked to guarantee felicity.
More generally, this work can be seen as an argument in favor of (i) a dynamic theory of meaning, as opposed to the classical truth-conditional theory; (ii) a presuppositional analysis of descriptions; and (iii) a strong interaction between semantics and pragmatics, whereby background knowledge directly affects interpretation in a way that cannot be factored away as a Gricean effect.

Publication Year: 1997
Publisher: Garland Publishers
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Semantics
Syntax
Subject Language(s): English
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0815328710
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 214
Prices: $50