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- DescriptionIn Situations and Individuals, Paul Elbourne argues that the natural language expressions that have been taken to refer to individuals -- prouns, proper names, and definite descriptions -- have a common syntax and semantics, roughly that of definite descriptions as construed in the tradition of Frege. In the course of his argument, Elbourne shows that proper names have previously undetected donkey anaphoric readings.This is contrary to previous theorizing and, if true, would undermine what philosophers call the direct reference theory (which holds that the sole contribution of a proper name to the truth conditions of a sentence is an individual) as well as the related doctrine that proper names are rigid designators. Elbourne begins by addressing donkey anaphora, relating other concerns about prouns to the solution of this torious problem. His subsequent argumentation provides a unified semantics for the donkey anaphoric and bound and referential uses of prouns and discusses the prospect of unifying the syntax and semantics of prouns with the syntax and semantics of rmal definite descriptions. Elbourne's aim is t only to advance his proposal of a unified syntax and semantics but also to urge linguists and philosophers dealing with proun interpretation to consider a wider range of theories than they do at present, and to test the competing claims of description-based theories and dynamic semantics against the data.
- Author BiographyPaul Elbourne is a Lecturer in Linguistics at Queen Mary, University of London.
- Author(s)Paul D. Elbourne
- PublisherMIT Press Ltd
- Date of Publication11/11/2005
- Series TitleCurrent Studies in Linguistics
- Series Part/Volume NumberNo. 41
- Place of PublicationCambridge, Mass.
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintMIT Press
- Content Note2 illus.
- Weight363 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine12 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
- Interest AgeFrom 18
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