By Jaakko Hintikka
I n order to understand safely what we're doing during this e-book it's important to gain that our method of linguistic theorizing differs from the present perspectives. Our technique might be defined by way of indicating what distinguishes it from the methodological rules present in theoretical linguistics, which I give some thought to heavily erroneous. Linguists normally construe their activity at present as that of creating exceptionless generalizations from specific examples. This explanatory process is incorrect in numerous alternative ways. It presupposes that we will have "intuitions" approximately specific examples, frequently examples invented through the linguist himself or herself, trustworthy and sharp adequate to function a foundation of sharp generalizations. It additionally presupposes that we won't have both trustworthy direct entry to basic linguistic regularities. either assumptions seem to me super doubtful, and the 1st of them has in impact been challenged via linguists like Dwight Bol inger. there's additionally a few facts that the measure of unanimity between linguists within reason low in terms of much less transparent circumstances, even in reference to such fairly easy questions as grammaticality (acceptability). consequently we now have attempted to depend extra on quotations from modern fiction, newspapers and magazines than on linguists' and philosophers' advert hoc examples. I additionally locate it unusual that the various comparable linguists as think that all of us own innate principles approximately basic features of humanly attainable grammars imagine that we will be able to have entry to them simply through their specific consequences.
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Additional resources for Anaphora and Definite Descriptions: Two Applications of Game-Theoretical Semantics
Perhaps we can, at least initially, see our efforts as an an attempt to revise and extend Russell1s theory in order to reinstate the paradise - or perhaps rather the paradigm 33 34 PART II that Russell's 1905 theory truly was for philosophical and linguistic semanticists. In other words, it seems to us that time is ripe to turn the tables on Russell's critics. This part of our work can be seen as a first step towards a general theory of definite descriptions that borrows its inspiration from Russell's theory, even though the conceptual tools it uses go beyond Russell's methods.
Among the other types of expressions for which one can easily develop a game-theoretical semantics there are the following: (i) Modal and intensional concepts can be handled by combining GTS with a suitable version of possible-worlds semantics. At each stage of a semantical game, the players are then facing not only a sentence but also a world, which can be changed in a move. For instance, necessity marks Nature's move: Nature chooses an alternative world that faces the players at the next move, after the necessity operator has been dropped.
However, there are other uses of the-phrases that Russell DEFINITE DESCRIPTIONS 35 seems to have had primarily in mind. They give rise to those occurrences of the-phrases in English which are, in some obvious sense, context-independent and in which the speaker is in some (perhaps slightly less obvious) sense attributing or presupposing uniqueness. We shall call such occurrences of the-phrases Russel/ion. They are the uses of the-phrases to which the philosophers' term "definite description" applies most happily.
Anaphora and Definite Descriptions: Two Applications of Game-Theoretical Semantics by Jaakko Hintikka