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In the semantics of natural language, quantification may have received more attention than any other subject, and one of the main topics in psychological studies on deductive reasoning is syllogistic inference, which is just a restricted form of reasoning with quantifiers. But thus far the semantical and psychological enterprises have remained disconnected.(More)
On the naive account of scalar modifiers like more than and at least, At least three girls snored is synonymous with More than two girls snored, and both sentences mean that the number of snoring girls exceeded two (the same, mutatis mutandis, for sentences with at most and less/fewer than). We show that this is false and propose an alternative theory,(More)
The Gricean theory of conversational implicature has always been plagued by data suggesting that what would seem to be conversational inferences may occur within the scope of operators like believe, for example; which for bona fide implicatures should be an impossibility. Concentrating my attention on scalar implicatures, I argue that, for the most part,(More)
This is an attempt at reviving Kneale's version of the description theory of names, which says that a proper name is synonymous with a definite description of the form 'the individual named so-and-so'. To begin with, I adduce a wide range of observations to show that names and overt definites are alike in all relevant respects. I then turn to Kripke's main(More)
It is somewhat of an embarrassment to semantics and pragmatics alike that there is no consensus on the meaning of number words like five. According to the orthodox neo-Gricean view, five in fact means 'five or more'. According to the na¨ıve view, which in recent years has begun to regain ground, five simply means 'five'. All things considered, the na¨ıve(More)
Although it is widely agreed, if often only tacitly, that there is a close connection between focus and presupposition, recent research has tended to shy away from the null hypothesis, which is that focus is systematically associated with presupposition along the following lines: The Background-Presupposition Rule (BPR) Whenever focusing gives rise to a(More)
Universal inferences like (i) have been taken as evidence for a local/syntactic treatment of scalar implicatures (i.e. theories where the enrichment of 'some' into 'some but not all' can happen sub-sententially): (i) Everybody read some of the books Everybody read [some but not all the books]. In this paper, I provide experimental evidence which casts doubt(More)
Chemla (2009) presents experimental data purporting to show that speakers' intuitions about so-called " embedded implicatures " cause trouble for globalist and localist theories alike. We explain, to begin with, that the way Chemla frames the debate between localists and globalists fails to do justice to the latter. Then we turn to his experimental data,(More)
Superlative quantifiers (" at least 3 " , " at most 3 ") and comparative quanti-fiers (" more than 2 " , " fewer than 4 ") are traditionally taken to be interde-finable: the received view is that " at least n " and " at most n " are equivalent to " more than n–1 " and " fewer than n+1 " , respectively. Notwithstanding the prima facie plausibility of this(More)