By Paul M. Pietroski
During this learn of ways syntax pertains to that means, Paul Pietroski defends the hyposthesis that combining expressions corresponds to predicate-conjunction and never function-application. Chapters disguise various buildings concerning causative and serial verbs, plural noun-phrases, and complementizer words. The publication represents a lucid contribution to the sector by means of a pacesetter of the hot iteration of philosopher-linguists.
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Additional info for Events and Semantic Architecture
T iff x is prime](3) ¼ t iff 3 is prime; and [lx . t iff x is prime](28) ¼ t iff 28 is prime. Since 3 is prime, [lx . t iff x is prime](3) ¼ t; and since 28 is not prime, [lx . t iff x is prime](28) ¼ f. Now let ‘k. k’ stand for the Semantic Value of the enclosed expresssion. (Cf. ) This notation makes it easy to state the main issue concisely. By hypothesis: k3ak ¼ 3; for any sentence h. i, kh. ik is either t or f; and h. . is primePi is associated with the function [lx . 10 But this does not determine the Values of lexical predicates.
And we can discover semantic facts, just as we can discover biological facts. In my view, insensitivity to this point still pervades philosophy of language, despite Chomsky (1955, 1957, 1965, 1966, 1970, 1977, 1981, 1986, 1995, 2000b) and the remarkably successful research program he initiated. Of course, one can deﬁne ‘semantics’ as one likes; and there is a tradition of using the term to talk about the enterprise of deﬁning models for expressions of an invented language. But following Chomsky, we can study human language as a natural phenomenon, which is whatever it is.
But I will be explicit that the functions in question map things onto t or f. If the need arises, we can make the notation more explicit. Let ‘[lx . Fx]’ stand for the smallest function F, from entities of type a to entities of type b, that maps each entity in the domain over which the variable ‘x’ ranges onto the value of F given x as argument. We can also specify the relevant variable domains explicitly, instead of relying on variable types, as in ‘[lx:x2Da . t iff Fx]’; see Heim and Kratzer (1998) for discussion.
Events and Semantic Architecture by Paul M. Pietroski