PP-2004-29: Explaining rigidity

PP-2004-29: Hinzen, Wolfram (2004) Explaining rigidity. [Report]

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I argue that both the 'rigid' and 'non-rigid' or 'descriptive'
interpretations of the reference of nominals have an explanation in
the structure or linguistic form of these nominals, hence are
conditioned broadly syntactically. This seems desirable under
assumptions of a 'transparent' and compositional syntax-semantics
mapping. Two ways in which nominal reference is conditioned on
syntactic complexity are analyzed. The first is based on a traditional
DP (and N-to-D movement) analysis and its plausible semantic
effects. The second appeals to namehood as a property of atomic
(unstructured) lexical concepts as such. It explains rigidity as the
trivial effect of syntactic atomicity, in which case rigidity has
nothing specifically to do with either names or grammatical
categories. I defend the second proposal, on both theoretical and
cross-linguistic grounds. I argue specifically that the basis of human
reference is the reference of conceptual atoms, which are as such
lexically unspecified for name, noun, count or mass properties. The
discussion traces out the effects of this proposal for a long
tradition of philosophical argument, where name-reference is
standardly explained in externalist (causal) or semantic, rather than
internalist and syntactic, terms.

Item Type: Report
Report Nr: PP-2004-29
Series Name: Prepublication (PP) Series
Year: 2004
Uncontrolled Keywords: Names; Rigidity
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 14:36
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2016 14:36
URI: https://eprints.illc.uva.nl/id/eprint/140

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