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Reference_ and_Definiteness,Revised

riley, dr john a. (2006) Reference_ and_Definiteness,Revised. [Preprint]

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Abstract

If D denotes a discourse, and p an expression in an utterance u of D, the action, D(p), of D on p, is the set of mental representations of the interpretations of p in D, and corresponds to the discourse 'meaning' of p in D. The correspondence p-->D(p) is called the reference of the speaker. The domain, dom(p), is defined, and it is shown that the set i(D(p)) of underlying entities of D(p) is contained in or equal to dom(p). A reference is inclusive if i(D(p)) = dom(p); exclusive otherwise. If dom(p) (resp. i(D(p))) consists of a single entity, the reference is said to be unique (resp unambiguous). Definite reference is defined as unambiguous and inclusive. It is shown that definite reference is unique in the classical sense, and it is conjectured that a generalization of the notion of 'familiarity' holds. A number of putative counterexamples to the classical definition are shown to satisfy the more general definition. Other application is made to specificity, predicate nominals, and parameterized nominals.

Item Type:Preprint
Additional Information:This revision includes the footnotes to the original.
Keywords:identifiability, spcificity, reference, definiteness
Subjects:Linguistics > Semantics
Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Linguistics > Pragmatics
ID Code:4814
Deposited By:riley, dr john a
Deposited On:01 Apr 2006
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:56

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