Semantics for Nondeclaratives

Daniel Boisvert and Kirk Ludwig

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

Semantics for Nondeclaratives

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This article begins by distinguishing force and mood. Then it lays out desiderata on a successful account. It sketches as background the program of truth-theoretic semantics. Next, it surveys assimilation approaches and argues that they are inadequate. Then it shows how the fulfillment-conditional approach can be applied to imperatives, interrogatives, molecular sentences containing them, and quantification into mood markers. Next, it considers briefly the recent set of propositions approach to the semantics of interrogatives and exclamatives. Finally, it shows how to integrate exclamatives and optatives into a framework similar to the fulfillment approach.

Keywords: semantics; nondeclaratives; truth-theoretic semantics; fulfillment-conditional approach; interrogatives; quantification

Article.  14176 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Language

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