Context-Dependence in the Analysis of Linguistic Meaning


Editors: and
Does context and context-dependence belong to the research agenda of semantics - and, specifically, of formal semantics? Not so long ago many linguists and philosophers would probably have given a negative answer to the question. However, recent developments in formal semantics have indicated that analyzing natural language semantics without a thorough accommodation of context-dependence is next to impossible. The classification of the ways in which context and context-dependence enter semantic analysis, though, is still a matter of much controversy and some of these disputes are ventilated in the present collection. This book is not only a collection of papers addressing context-dependence and methods for dealing with it: it also records comments to the papers and the authors' replies to the comments. In this way, the contributions themselves are contextually dependent. In view of the fact that the contributors to the volume are such key figures in contemporary formal semantics as Hans Kamp, Barbara Partee, Reinhard Muskens, Nicholas Asher, Manfred Krifka, Jaroslav Peregrin and many others, the book represents a quite unique inquiry into the current activities on the semantics side of the semantics/pragmatics boundary.

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Paul Portner is Associate Professor of Linguistics and Acting Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Cognitive Science at Georgetown University. He is the author of numerous articles on topics such as mood and modality, tense and aspect, and the syntax/semantics interface.
Barbara H. Partee is Distinguished University Professor of Linguistics and Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is the author of several landmark essays in formal semantics. She has written and edited numerous books, including Mathematical Methods in Linguistics (with Alice ter Meulen and Robert Wall, 1990), Montague Grammar (edited, 1976), and Quantification in Natural Languages (edited, with Emmon Bach, Eloise Jelinek, and Angelika Kratzer, 1995).
I. Papers
Empty-domain Effects for Presuppositional and Non-presuppositional Determiners, D. Abush, M. Rooth
From Discourse Macro-Structure to Micro-Structure and Back Again: Discourse Semantics and the Focus/Background Distinction, N. Asher
Fixing the Reference Situations: German Temporal Conjunctions, R. Bauerle
Accommodating Topics, D. Beaver
On Context and Identity, P. Dekker
Are Context Change Potentials Functions?, T. Fernando
A Minimal Theory of Adverbial Quantification, Kai von Fintel
Focus and the Boundaries of the Language System, E. Hajičova
Focus and/or Context: A Second Look at Second Occurrence Expressions, M. Krifka
Topic, Focus, and Some Aspects of the Semantics of Discourse, P. Kubon
Why not Kim Basinger? On the Art des Gegebenseins of a Contextually Given Set, A. Merin
Order-Independence and Underspecification, R. Muskens
Dynamic Semantics with Choice Functions, J. Peregrin, K. von Heusinger
Topics and the Conceptual Interface, T. Reinhart
Presuppositions of Existence and of Uniqueness, and Allegation, P. Sgall
Tertiumne Datur? Possessive Pronouns and the Bipartition of the Lexicon, T.E. Zimmermann

II. Comments
Comments on Tim Fernando: Mathematical Treatments of Contexts, N. Asher
Comments on Manfred Krifka: Can Pragmatic Accounts Explain Pseudo-Secondary Effects of Focus?, N. Asher
Comments on Asher and Krifka: Acoustic Correlates of Second Occurrence Focus: Toward and Experimental Investigation, C. Bartels
Comments on Beavers and von Fintels Theories of Presuppostition Accommodation, S. Berman
Comments on Zimmermann: Tertium Evitari Non Potest: On Ede Zimmermanns Bipartition of the Lexicon, M. Bierwisch
Cases, Adverbs, Situations and Events, P. Dekker
Comments on Beaver: Presupposition Accomodation and Quantifier Domains, Kai von Fintel
Comments on Reinhart: The Syntactic Roots of Discourse Cohesion, Kai von Fintel
Comments on von Fintel, E Hajičova
Remarks on Focus Sensitive Particles (to Krifkas and von Fintels Papers), E. Hajičova, Petr Sgall
Remarks on DRT and TFA, E. Hajičova, P. Sgall
Comments on Kaplans Demonstratives and Zimmermanns Tertiumne Datur? Possessive Pronouns and the Bipartition of the Lexicon, H. Kamp, A. Robetadeutcher
Comments on Dekker, J. Peregrin
Comments on Krifka, J. Peregrin
A Comment on Reinhard Muskens Paper: Order Independence and Underspecification, M. Pinkal
Comments on Krifkas Paper, M. Rooth
Topichood and the Stage/Individual Distinction, H. de Swart
Negation: Scope and Anaphora, H. de Swart
Topic, Focus, and Presupposition, H. de Swart
Remarks on the Epistemic Role of Discourse Referents, T.E. Zimmermann

III. Authors Replies
Minimal Replies to: Dekker, Hajičova & Sgall, Berman and De Swart, K. von Fintel
Replies to: Rooth, Bartels, Asher and Peregrin, M. Krifka
Replies to: Bierwisch, Kamp & Robetadeutscher and Muskens, T.E. Zimmermann
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