MoL-2012-20: Dynamic Semantics for Intensional Transitive Verbs - a Case Study

MoL-2012-20: Sznajder, Marta (2012) Dynamic Semantics for Intensional Transitive Verbs - a Case Study. [Report]

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In my thesis I challenge the two assumptions that have shaped the research on intensional transitive verbs so far: first, that ITVs are evaluated with respect to the belief state of their agent, and second, that their nonspecific readings are derived from the specific ones. I show that in evaluating sentences containing ITVs the information state of the hearer is crucial. Considering the knowledge of the hearer rather than that of the agent leads to a conclusion that a novel, dynamic approach to semantics of ITVs is needed. The formalism I designed was inspired by the work of Barwise and Cooper on generalized quantifiers. The primary reading of an intensional transitive verb therefore relates two quantifiers, the first one specifying the individual that is the agent, the other one that provides a set of alternatives for filling the object position. Specific readings can be defined in purely algebraic terms as the ones where the object is given a denotation that is a filter generated by a singleton set from the domain. All of the above formal setup is done in a dynamic way, namely in the tradition of update semantics. Instead of a definition of truth of formulas I define an update relation between information states and sentences of my formal language. In that system an information state is a set of interpretation functions from the language for generalized quantifiers into a given domain.

Item Type: Report
Report Nr: MoL-2012-20
Series Name: Master of Logic Thesis (MoL) Series
Year: 2012
Uncontrolled Keywords: Logic, Language; intensionality, specificity,; intensional verbs, dynamic semantics
Depositing User: Tanja Kassenaar
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 14:38
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2016 14:38

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