Chapter

Covert Context-Sensitivity: The Problems of Underdetermination, Inappropriateness, and Indeterminacy

Emma Borg

in Minimal Semantics

Published in print July 2004 | ISBN: 9780199270255
Published online November 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601477 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199270252.003.0005
Covert Context-Sensitivity: The Problems of Underdetermination, Inappropriateness, and Indeterminacy

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This chapter looks at a currently very popular argument for dual pragmatic theories, turning on so-called ‘unarticulated constituents’ or ‘hidden indexicals’. These are elements that do not figure at the syntactic level but are supposedly required to arrive at the truth-conditions of many natural language sentences. The precise form of this argument is explored and three different versions enumerated. However I argue that in none of its forms is this argument against formal semantics compelling.

Keywords: context-sensitivity; hidden indexicals; unarticulated constituents

Chapter.  21752 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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