New PDF release: Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language

By Friederike Moltmann

ISBN-10: 0199608741

ISBN-13: 9780199608744

Summary items were a vital subject in philosophy due to the fact that antiquity. Philosophers have defended numerous perspectives approximately summary items via beautiful to metaphysical issues, issues concerning arithmetic or technological know-how, and, no longer now and again, intuitions approximately traditional language. This publication pursues the query of the way and even if average language enables connection with summary items in a completely systematic method. by way of making complete use of latest linguistic semantics, it offers a miles better diversity of linguistic generalizations than has formerly been considered in philosophical discussions, and it argues for an ontological photo is especially varied from that usually taken without any consideration by means of philosophers and semanticists alike. connection with summary items similar to houses, numbers, propositions, and levels is significantly extra marginal than commonly held. in its place, normal language is quite beneficiant in permitting connection with particularized houses (tropes), using nonreferential expressions in obvious referential place, and using "nominalizing expressions," corresponding to quantifiers like "something." connection with summary gadgets is completed usually purely by means of 'reifying terms', comparable to "the quantity eight."

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Reification of a plurality as a single object goes along not only with the use of special quantifiers; it also goes along with a range of collective nouns. Collective nouns such as collection, class, or group can themselves combine with a definite plural: (87) the collection of the toys Such nouns express a two-place relation with one plural argument position and one argument position for collective objects. The entire definite NP in (87) will refer to a collective object, an object whose members are just the individual members of the plurality (possibly but not necessarily constituted by unity-defining conditions).

John cannot distinguish the class. The constraint in question is thus fundamentally different from familiar semantic selectional requirements. Whereas the latter allows for coercion, the former just does not. 2. Plural reference The second approach to the semantics of plurals, the plural-reference approach, takes definite plural NPs not to refer to a single entity that is a plurality, but rather to several individuals at once. On that view, the children does not stand for a single entity that is a collection of children, but rather for each individual child at once.

John never saw this color. These observations justify the following generalization. Trope-describing nouns come in two variants: a relational variant and a non-relational variant. The relational variant expresses a relation between particular tropes and their bearers, whereas the nonrelational variant expresses a property of kinds of tropes. The ability of nouns to describe a kind appears tied to the fact that there is a relational variant of the noun describing particulars. This itself is revealing as to the way reference to a kind is achieved, namely on the basis of possible instances (instances in the extension of the relational noun) and not on the basis of the inherent content of the noun itself.

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Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language by Friederike Moltmann


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