PPT w/answers to homework problems

Report
Semantics & Pragmatics
Kareem Khalifa
Philosophy Department
Middlebury College
Overview
I. Dimensions of language
II. Truth-conditional semantics
III. A sampler of pragmatics
I. Different Dimensions of Language
A. Syntax, Semantics, &
Pragmatics
B. Denotation & Sense
C. Lexical & Structural
D. Categorematic &
Syncategorematic
E. Structural Features
II. Truth Conditional Semantics
A. Denotations
B. Possible
Worlds
C. Truth-Based
Relations
Exercise 1
a. What is the extension of alarm clock?
– The set of all alarm clocks in the actual world.
b. What is the extension of Cairo?
– The city, Cairo, in the actual world.
c. What is the intension of fishknife?
– The set of all fishknives in all possible worlds.
d. What is the truth set for Jones has a new game
console?
– The set of all possible worlds in which it’s true that
Jones has a new game console.
Exercise 3
Problems with truth-sets of following sentences:
i. The following will be true in all possible worlds,
because they are tautologies.
a.
b.
c.
That tigress is a female. A tigress is, by definition,
female.
Every circle in the pattern was round. A circle is, by
definition, round.
Either God exists or God doesn’t exist. Tautology.
ii. These will be true in no possible worlds, because they
are contradictions.
a.
b.
Two plus two is five. Two plus two can never equal five.
Spain is bigger than Iceland and Iceland is bigger than
Spain. This is a contradiction.
III. Pragmatics Sampler
A. Implicature
Exercise 4: Implicatures
Example
Implicatures
Ally: Do your children eat greens?
Britt: Well, David eats spinach.
David is Britt’s child.
Identifying implicatures:
Most of Britt’s children don’t eat
Principles
Relevance
many greens.
Informativeness 1
Abe: Did you fix the blind?
Brian: I tried to.
Brian did not fix the blind.
Informativeness 1
Alicia: Do you love me?
Bob: I’m very fond of you.
Bob doesn’t love Alicia.
Informativeness 1
Aelfric: Did you stack the dishes
and load the washing machine?
Beowulf: I’ve stacked the dishes.
Beowulf did not load the washing
machine.
Informativeness 1
Abdul: Let’s try that new French
restaurant.
Saladin: I’m on a low-fat diet.
French restaurants do not offer
low-fat meals; we shouldn’t try
the new French restaurant.
Relevance
III. Pragmatics Sampler
A.
B.
C.
D.
Implicature
Indexicals
Anaphors
Presupposition
Exercise 10. Consider the examples below: (a) seems to convey that the terrace and conservatory are
hot, and (b) that the Pompidou and the National Theatre are ugly. But (c) and (d) do not convey
respectively, that Sam is old or young. Is the effect in (a) or (b) a presupposition? Use the diagnostic
tests to check this.
a.
In the afternoons the terrace is hotter than the conservatory.
b.
The Pompidou building is uglier than the National Theatre.
c.
Sam is older than Annette.
d.
Sam is younger than Annette.
BRIEF NOTE: These examples appear to rely exclusively on linguistic intuitions. I don’t have strong
intuitions about them, but perhaps I’m weird.
(a) First test:
• If, in the afternoons, the terrace is hotter than the conservatory, then the terrace and conservatory are
hot. This doesn’t seem to be true; the conservatory could be quite cold in the afternoons.
• If, in the afternoons, the terrace is no hotter than the conservatory, then the terrace and conservatory is
hot. This also doesn’t seem to be true.
(a) Second test:
• Hey! Wait a minute! I had no idea that the terrace and conservatory are hot. That seems like a weird
response.
(b) First test:
• If the Pompidou is uglier than the National Theatre, then the Pompidou and National Theatre are ugly.
This doesn’t seem true to me. Much like (a), the National Theatre might be a relatively appealing.
• If the Pompidou is not uglier than the National Theatre, then the Pompidou and National Theatre are
ugly. The Pompidou might be relatively beautiful building.
(b) Second test:
• Hey! Wait a minute! I had no idea that the Pompidou and National Theatre were ugly. I suppose that this
is a reasonable response.

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