Donum semanticum: Opera linguistica et logica in honorem Barbarae Partee a discipulis amicisque Rossicis oblata
What kind of data do we usually see in a linguistic paper? The answer is evident: an isolated sentence. Judging whether a particular sentence in a particular meaning is grammatical in a certain language is the primary tool for many formal approaches, but other researchers also often rely on sentences, for example, when they collect data in the field or make generalizations about predominant word orders in various languages. Sentences are great to analyze a very wide range of phenomena, but there are two obvious drawbacks: they are not well suited to study anything that crucially depends on prosody or on wider context. The paper analyzes several examples and then addresses a more general question: how do we interpret sentences in isolation?
This paper focuses on the meaning of degree modifiers such as slightly and completely, when they are either more prosodically prominent than the scalar adjective they modify or less so. Thus, one challenge is to explain the meaning, function and distribution of these modifiers. A second challenge is to explain the way accentuation (prosodic prominence vs. non-prominence) affects their meanings. The paper argues that the sensitivity of weak modifiers such as slightly to the type of membership norm of the modified adjective poses a challenge to semantic analyses of these modifiers in terms of quantification, scale-structure or norm-shifting (section 1.1), and suggests, instead, that these modifiers trigger granularity shifting (section 1.2). Two analyses of the role of accentuation in modifiers are then discussed (sections 1.3-1.4). Lastly, the paper presents an experiment that appears to support the granularity shifting account and a compatible treatment of prosodic prominence as generating local intensification of the meaning of the accented word (sections 2-3).
The article is focused on marking factive complement clauses in Russian (in particular, in constructions with emotional verbs) in unreal contexts. Contexts like these are especially problematic, since non-reality and factivity by nature constitute a logically strange combination. Factivity is associated with real contexts, and the degree of reality is equal for the matrix factive predicate and the complement event. However, as I will show, the two values are combinable. Importantly, the two ways of marking differ semantically, one of them being a default one, and the other one having de dicto special interpretation in most cases. This de dicto reading is facilitated by a sort of ‘agreement’ taking place between several components of the utterance: the participant NPs tend to have a non-specific reading, while the complement clause tends to be marked with subjunctive and has a maximally possible degree of non-reality
The proposed theory of poetical tropes is an extension of the Hintikka‒Sandu theory of meaning lines with the addition of paraconsistent logic. It is the paraconsistent element that is responsible for the key feature of poetical trope that Davidson called “insight”. It was argued that the semantics of poetical tropes is situational and, therefore, non-Fregean, and this feature is already implied in the Hintikka-Sandu theory, although Hintikka and Sandu consider their theoretical framework as Fregean.