* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
LINGUIST List logo Eastern Michigan University Wayne State University *
* People & Organizations * Jobs * Calls & Conferences * Publications * Language Resources * Text & Computer Tools * Teaching & Learning * Mailing Lists * Search *
* *
LINGUIST List 21.4306

Thu Oct 28 2010

Qs: Philosophy of Lang: Expressions like 'the fact that p'

Editor for this issue: Danielle St. Jean <daniellelinguistlist.org>


We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate.

In addition to posting a summary, we'd like to remind people that it is usually a good idea to personally thank those individuals who have taken the trouble to respond to the query.

To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at http://linguistlist.org/LL/posttolinguist.cfm.
Directory
        1.     Arianna Betti , Philosophy of Lang: Expressions like 'the fact that p'

Message 1: Philosophy of Lang: Expressions like 'the fact that p'
Date: 20-Oct-2010
From: Arianna Betti <ariannabettigmail.com>
Subject: Philosophy of Lang: Expressions like 'the fact that p'
E-mail this message to a friend

Dear LINGUIST subscribers,

I am a philosopher doing research on facts. Many philosophers
(especially those sympathetic to ordinary language philosophy) think
that we can discover what's in the world by examining the way we
speak.

For a book I am writing I am researching the application of this
methodology to the phrase 'the fact that p' (where 'p' stands for
whatever sentence of the language). Some would like to say that this is
what we call a 'definite description'.

My questions are the following:

(1) Is a phrase like 'the fact that p' present in all languages? If not (as I
presume), is there a type of language in which there isn't such a
phrase? I wonder if one can indicate some groups of languages in
which a construction of that kind would not occur, perhaps?

(2) Is the expression 'fact' present in all languages? If not, is there a
way to group languages in which that expression does not occur?
(examples of languages in which 'fact' does not occur would already
help me greatly!).

(3) Can I solve similar questions myself by using some online
database? If not, what's the second best method?

(4) Is there recent cross-linguistic research done specifically on the
expression 'fact'? (I already know and have used work by Kiparsky &
Kiparsky, Vendler, Peterson & co).

I would be most grateful to be able (with or without additional
research) to include the answer to this in my book!

Best wishes,
Arianna Betti

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,
ERC Starting Grantee & Member of De Jonge Akademie of KNAW, The
Netherlands

http://home.telfort.nl/oranjegracht/index.html

Selected Bibliography:
Kiparsky and Kiparsky (1971). Fact. Semantics: An Interdisciplinary
Reader. Steinberg and Jakobovits. Cambridge: 345-69.

Peterson, P. L. (1997). Fact, Proposition, Event.
Dordrecht/Boston/London, Kluwer.

Vendler, Z. (1967). Linguistics in Philosophy. Ithaca, NY, Cornell
University Press.

Vendler, Z. (1972). Res Cogitans - An Essay in Rational Philosophy.
Ithaca and London, Cornell University Press.

Linguistic Field(s): Philosophy of Language
                            Semantics
                            Typology

Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue



Page Updated: 28-Oct-2010

Supported in part by the National Science Foundation       About LINGUIST    |   Contact Us       ILIT Logo
While the LINGUIST List makes every effort to ensure the linguistic relevance of sites listed on its pages, it cannot vouch for their contents.