<b>Referential Function (I)</b>

Maximilian de Gaynesford

in I: The Meaning of the First Person Term

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780199287826
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603570 | DOI:
 Referential Function (I)

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The referential function of any singular term is to provide a positive answer to the question: ‘which individual is being spoken of?’, that is, to achieve determinacy of reference. What enables a singular term to carry out this function is the ‘determinant’ of the term. Demonstration is not the determinant of deictic terms because they can fulfil their referential function by appeal to utterance-relative uniqueness, or by leading candidacy given the surrounding discourse or perceptual environment.

Keywords: deictic term; referential function; determinacy; demonstration; salience; uniqueness; leading candidacy; singular personal pronouns

Chapter.  5872 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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