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What is Said?
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2016 (English)In: Noûs, ISSN 0029-4624, E-ISSN 1468-0068, Vol. 50, no 4, 759-793 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It is sometimes argued that certain sentences of natural language fail to express truth conditional contents. Standard examples include e.g. Tipper is ready and Steel is strong enough. In this paper, we provide a novel analysis of truth conditional meaning (what is said) using the notion of a question under discussion. This account (i) explains why these types of sentences are not, in fact, semantically underdetermined (yet seem truth conditionally incomplete), (ii) provides a principled analysis of the process by which natural language sentences (in general) can come to have enriched meanings in context, and (iii) shows why various alternative views, e.g. so-called Radical Contextualism, Moderate Contextualism, and Semantic Minimalism, are partially right in their respective analyses of the problem, but also all ultimately wrong. Our analysis achieves this result using a standard truth conditional and compositional semantics and without making any assumptions about enriched logical forms, i.e. logical forms containing phonologically null expressions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 50, no 4, 759-793 p.
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-129795DOI: 10.1111/nous.12133ISI: 000387458900005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-129795DiVA: diva2:1063241
Available from: 2017-01-09 Created: 2017-01-09 Last updated: 2017-01-09Bibliographically approved

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Stokke, Andreas
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