Learn More
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)
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 neoGricean view, five in fact means ‘five or more’. According to the naı̈ve view, which in recent years has begun to regain ground, five simplymeans ‘five’. All things considered, the naı̈ve view(More)
Superlative quantifiers (“at least 3”, “at most 3”) and comparative quantifiers (“more than 2”, “fewer than 4”) are traditionally taken to be interdefinable: 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 claim, Geurts and(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)
Defeasible inferences are inferences that can be revised in the light of new information. Although defeasible inferences are pervasive in everyday communication, little is known about how and when they are processed by the brain. This study examined the electrophysiological signature of defeasible reasoning using a modified version of the suppression task.(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)
The chief characteristic of presuppositions is that they tend to take wide scope, yet most theories of presupposition, the author's not excepted, fail to provide an explanation of this fact. Recently, however, it has been suggested that a principled explanation can be given in terms of informativeness: the idea is that presuppositions simply prefer stronger(More)
Dynamic theories of discourse interpretation seek to describe and explain antecedent-anaphor relations with the help of discourse referents. In a dynamic framework, it is the function of indefinite expressions to introduce new discourse referents, whilst anaphoric expressions serve to retrieve them. Dynamic theories provide a simple and intuitively(More)
Newstead’s critique is an exercise in carpet-bombing: he doesn’t raise one big objection but a host of smaller ones. I hope I will be excused if I address only a handful. Let me start with a brief synopsis. Experimental investigations of human reasoning invariably use linguistic tasks. Subjects are to say whether this or that sentence follows from a given(More)