What Does it Take to Refer?

Kent Bach

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199552238
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

What Does it Take to Refer?


This article makes a number of points about reference, both speaker reference and linguistic (or semantic) reference. The bottom line is simple: reference ain't easy — at least not nearly as easy as commonly supposed. Much of what speakers do that passes for reference is really something else, and much of what passes for linguistic reference is really nothing more than speaker reference. Referring is one of the basic things we do with words, and it would be a good idea to understand what that involves and requires before worrying about the linguistic means by which this is done.

Keywords: reference; semantic reference; speaker reference; linguistic means; linguistic reference; singular terms

Article.  20826 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Language

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