Month: February 2019

Meeting on WEDNESDAY, 03/06: Chris Tancredi

The Meaning group will have a special meeting at an unusual time with an outside speaker. Everyone is welcome.

Wednesday, March 6, 9:30-10:45am, Oak Hall 338

Speaker: Chris Tancredi (Keio University, Japan)

Title: De dicto, de re and de qualitate unified

Abstract:

Past approaches to the semantics of belief statements have argued for a multiplicity of distinct interpretations, including de dicto, de re, de qualitate and de translato.  The need for ambiguity in attitude statements is clear from the potential truth of sentences like Ralph believes Ortcutt is a spy, but he doesn’t believe ORTCUTT is a spy.  However, I argue that the only ambiguity specific to attitude statements is the de translato/non-de translato distinction.  In particular, I show how to reduce de dicto/de re/de qualitate interpretations to a single form.  The key to the reduction is to analyze the embedded clause of an attitude statement as denoting a proposition inferable from an underlying belief of the subject rather than denoting the subject’s underlying belief itself.  I show that the semantics developed can account for attitudes toward necessary as well as impossible propositions, and that it further can account for the range of entailments felt to hold among multiple attitude statements.

Meeting on 02/15: Yuan and Hara 2018

The Meaning Group will meet on Friday February 15, at 1:15pm in Oak Hall 338. We will be discussing the paper “Guiding assertions and questions in discourse: Mandarin dique and zhende” by Mengxi Yuan and Yurie Hara (Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. The paper is included below.