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A Reader

Edited by Steven Davis and Brendan S. Gillon

Publication Date - November 2004

ISBN: 9780195136982

936 pages
7 x 10 inches

The only reader of its kind, covering core topics in linguistics and philosophy of language


Semantics: A Reader contains a broad selection of classic articles on semantics and the semantics/pragmatics interface. Comprehensive in the variety and breadth of theoretical frameworks and topics that it covers, it includes articles representative of the major theoretical frameworks within semantics, including: discourse representation theory, dynamic predicate logic, truth theoretic semantics, event semantics, situation semantics, and cognitive semantics.

All the major topics in semantics are covered, including lexical semantics and the semantics of quantified noun phrases, adverbs, adjectives, performatives, and interrogatives. Included are classic papers in the field of semantics as well as papers written especially for the volume. The volume comes with an extensive introduction designed not only to provide an overview of the field, but also to explain the technical concepts the beginner will need to tackle before the more demanding articles. Semantics will have appeal as a textbook for upper level and graduate courses and as a reference for scholars of semantics who want the classic articles in their field in one convenient place.

About the Author(s)

Steven Davis is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Centre on Values and Ethics at Carleton University and Brendan S. Gillon is Associate Professor uf Linguistics at McGill University.


"The volume will be of great use for anyone working in semantics. I recommend also its use for teaching purposes, for it contains the most important illustrations of virtually all the topics one may want to address in a course in semantics."--Linguist List 16.1589

Table of Contents

    Part I. Introduction Steven Davis and Brendan S. Gillon
    1. Preliminaries
    2. Linguistics and Typology
    3. Linguistics and Logic
    4. Theories of Reference and Theories of Meaning
    5. Internalist and Externalist Semantic Theories
    6. Semantics and Context
    7. Conclusion
    8. Appendix

    Part II. Background
    9. The Principle of Semantic Compositionality, Francis Jeffry Pelletier
    10. Ambiguity, Indeterminacy, Deixis, and Vagueness: Evidence and Theory, Brendan S. Gillon

    Part III. Approaches
    11. General Semantics, David Lewis
    12. Truth and Meaning, Donald Davidson
    13. A Theory of Truth and Semantic Representation, Hans Kamp
    14. Dynamic Predicate Logic, Jeroen Groenendijk and Martin Stokhof
    15. Situations and Attitudes, Jon Barwise and John Perry
    16. What Is a Concept, That a Person May Grasp It?, Ray Jackendoff
    17. Mental Spaces, Language Modalities, and Conceptual Integration, Gilles Fauconnier

    Part IV. Topics
    18. The Generative Lexicon, James Pustejovsky
    19. Towards a Common Semantics for English Count and Mass Nouns, Brendan S. Gillon
    20. Reference and Proper Names, Tyler Burge
    21. Pronouns, Gareth Evans
    22. Pronouns and Bound Variables, James Higginbotham
    23. Generalized Quantifiers and Natural Language, Jon Barwise and Robin Cooper
    24. The Tenses of Verbs, Hans Reichenbach
    25. Some Structural Analogies between Tenses and Pronouns in English, Barbara Hall Partee
    26. Two Theories about Adjectives, J. A. W. (Hans) Kamp
    27. Prepositions and Points of View, Max J. Cresswell
    28. On Semantic and Distributional Properties of Sentential Adverbs, Irena Bellert
    29. A Semantic Theory of Adverbs, Richmond H. Thomason and Robert C. Stalnaker
    30. Adverbs of Quantification, David Lewis
    31. Semantics and Pragmatics of Sentence Connectives in Natural Language, Roland Posner
    32. A Cross-Categorial Semantics for Coordination, Gerald Gazdar
    33. The Means of Connectives, R. E. (Ray) Jennings
    34. Interrogatives, James Higginbotham
    35. Success, Satisfaction, and Truth in the Logic of Speech Acts and Formal Semantics, Daniel Vanderveken
    36. The Logical Form of Action Sentences, Donald Davidson

    Part V. Context Dependency
    37. Demonstratives, David Kaplan
    38. Truth and Demonstratives, Scott Weinstein
    39. Scorekeeping in a Language Game, David Lewis
    40. Explicature and Semantics, Robyn Carston
    41. Quantifier Phrases, Meaningfulness "in Isolation," and Ellipsis, Robert J. Stainton

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