Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Theoretical Linguistics

An Open Peer Review Journal

Editor-in-Chief: Krifka, Manfred

Ed. by Gärtner, Hans-Martin

4 Issues per year


IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 2.000
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 2.343

CiteScore 2017: 0.70

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.457
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 1.318

Online
ISSN
1613-4060
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 43, Issue 1-2

Issues

Fictional Names in Psychologistic Semantics

Emar Maier
Published Online: 2017-06-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tl-2017-0001

Abstract

Fictional names pose a difficult puzzle for semantics. How can we maintain that Frodo is a hobbit, while admitting that Frodo does not exist? To dissolve this paradox, I propose a way to formalize the interpretation of fiction as ‘prescriptions to imagine’ (Walton 1990) within a psychologistic semantic framework in the style of Kamp (1990). In the context of an information exchange, the interpretation of an assertion triggers a dynamic update of a belief component in the interpreter’s mental state, while in the context of a fictional narrative, a statement like Frodo is a hobbit triggers an update of an imagination component. In the computation of these updates, proper names – referential, empty, or fictional – are uniformly analyzed as presupposition triggers. The possibility of different attitude components in a single mental state sharing discourse referents and thereby referentially depending on each other ultimately allows us to account for the central paradox of fictional names and related puzzles.

Keywords: semantics; fiction; imagination; reference; (fictional) proper names; mental states; mental files; (propositional) attitudes; presupposition; Discourse Representation Theory

References

  • Anderson, John & Christian Lebiere. 1998. The atomic components of thought. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar

  • Asher, Nicholas. 1986. Belief in discourse representation theory. Journal of Philosophical Logic 15(2). 127–189. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bach, Kent. 1987. Thought and reference. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Bauer, Matthias & Sigrid Beck. 2014. On the meaning of fictional texts. In D. Gutzmann et al. (eds.), Approaches to meaning, 250–275. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar

  • Bonomi, Andrea & Sandro Zucchi. 2003. A pragmatic framework for truth in fiction. Dialectica 57(2). 103–120. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Brasoveanu, Adrian & Jakub Dotlacil. 2015. Incremental and predictive interpretation. Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 25. 57–81. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Cohen, Ariel & Manfred Krifka. 2014. Superlative quantifiers and meta-speech acts. Linguistics and Philosophy 37(1). 41–90. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Currie, Gregory. 1990. The nature of fiction. Cambridge: CUP.Google Scholar

  • Eckardt, Regine. 2014. The semantics of free indirect speech. How texts allow us to mind-read and eaves-drop. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar

  • Edelberg, Walter. 1992. Intentional identity and the attitudes. Linguistics and Philosophy 15(6). 561–596.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Elbourne, Paul. 2010. The existence entailments of definite descriptions. Linguistics and Philosophy 33(1). 1–10. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Farkas, Donka & Kim Bruce. 2009. On reacting to assertions and polar questions. Journal of Semantics 27(1). 81–118. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Fauconnier, Gilles. 1994. Mental spaces: Aspects of meaning construction in natural language. Cambridge: CUP.Google Scholar

  • van Fraassen, Bas. 1980. The scientific image. Oxford: Clarendon. doi:10.1093/0198244274.001.0001.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Frank, Anette & Hans Kamp. 1997. On context dependence in modal constructions. Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 7. 151–168. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Frege, Gottlob. 1892. Über Sinn und Bedeutung. Zeitschrift für Philosophie und philosophische Kritik 100(1). 25–50.Google Scholar

  • Friend, Stacie. 2007. Fictional characters. Philosophy Compass 2(2). 141–156. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Friend, Stacie. 2011. The great beetle debate: A study in imagining with names. Philosophical Studies 153(2). 183–211. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Geach, Peter. 1967. Intentional identity. The Journal of Philosophy 64(20). 627–632.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Geurts, Bart. 1997. Good news about the description theory of names. Journal of Semantics 14(4). 319–348. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Geurts, Bart. 1999. Presuppositions and pronouns. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar

  • Groenendijk, Jeroen & Martin Stokhof. 1991. Dynamic predicate logic. Linguistics and Philosophy 14(1). 39–100. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Heim, Irene. 1982. On the semantics of definite and indefinite noun phrases. Amherst: University of Massachusetts dissertation. http://semanticsarchive.net/Archive/Tk0ZmYyY

  • Heim, Irene. 1983. On the projection problem for presuppositions. West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL) 2. 114–126.Google Scholar

  • Heim, Irene. 1992. Presupposition projection and the semantics of attitude verbs. Journal of Semantics 9(3). 183–221. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kamp, Hans. 1990. Prolegomena to a structural account of belief and other attitudes. In A. Anderson & J. Owens (eds.), Propositional attitudes: The role of content in logic, language, and mind, 27–90. Stanford: CSLI.Google Scholar

  • Kamp, Hans. 2011. Representing De Se thoughts and their reports. http://nasslli2012.com/files/kamp_2011.pdf

  • Kamp, Hans. 2015. Using proper names as intermediaries between labelled entity representations. Erkenntnis 80(2). 263–312. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kamp, Hans, Josef Van Genabith & Uwe Reyle. 2003. Discourse representation theory. In D. Gabbay & F. Guenthner (eds.), Handbook of philosophical logic, vol. 10, 125–394. Heidelberg: Springer. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kaplan, David. 1973. Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice. In J. Hintikka et al. (eds.), Approaches to natural language, Dordrecht: Springer. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kaplan, David. 1989. Demonstratives. In J. Almog, J. Perry & H. Wettstein (eds.), Themes from Kaplan, 481–614. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Karttunen, Lauri. 1973. Presuppositions of compound sentences. Linguistic Inquiry 4(2). 169–193.Google Scholar

  • Kratzer, Angelika. 1981. The notional category of modality. In H. Eikmeyer & H. Rieser (eds.), Words, worlds, and contexts, 38–74. Berlin: De Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Kripke, Saul. 1980. Naming and necessity. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar

  • Kripke, Saul. 2011. Vacuous names and fictional entities. In S. Kripke (ed.), Philosophical troubles, 52–74. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Lewis, David. 1978. Truth in fiction. American Philosophical Quarterly 15(1). 37–46.Google Scholar

  • Maier, Emar. 2014. Mixed quotation: The grammar of apparently transparent opacity. Semantics and Pragmatics 7(7). 1–67. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Maier, Emar. 2015a. Parasitic attitudes. Linguistics and Philosophy 38(3). 205–236. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Maier, Emar. 2015b. Reference, binding, and presupposition: Three perspectives on the semantics of proper names. Erkenntnis 80(2). 313–333. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Maier, Emar. 2016. Referential dependencies between conflicting attitudes. Journal of Philosophical Logic 1–27. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Meinong, Alexius. 1904. Über Gegenstandstheorie. In A. Meinong (ed.), Untersuchungen zur Gegenstandstheorie und Psychologie, 1–51. Leipzig: Barth.Google Scholar

  • Ninan, Dilip. 2008. Imagination, content, and the self, MIT dissertation.Google Scholar

  • Ninan, Dilip. 2012. Counterfactual attitudes and multi-centered worlds. Semantics and Pragmatics 5. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Perry, John. 1980. A problem about continued belief. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 61. 317–332.Google Scholar

  • Perry, John. 2001. Reference and reflexivity. Stanford: CSLI.Google Scholar

  • Quine, Willard V O. 1948. On what there is. Review of Metaphysics 2(1948). 21–38.Google Scholar

  • Radford, Colin. 1975. How can we be moved by the fate of Anna Karenina? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 49. 67–93. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4106870.

  • Recanati, François. 2012. Mental files. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Roberts, Craige. 1987. Modal subordination, anaphora, and distributivity. Amherst: UMass dissertation. http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI8710499/.

  • Roberts, Craige. 1989. Modal subordination and pronominal anaphora in discourse. Linguistics and Philosophy 12(6). 683–721. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Roberts, Craige. 1996. Anaphora in intensional contexts. In S. Lappin (ed.), The Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory, 215–246. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • van Rooy, Robert. 2000. Anaphoric relations across attitude contexts. In K. Von Heusinger & U. Egli (eds.), Reference and anaphoric relations, 157–181. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar

  • Russell, Bertrand. 1905. On denoting. Mind 14(56). 479–493. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2248381Crossref

  • Sæbø, Kjell Johan. 2012. Reports of specific indefinites. Journal of Semantics 30(3). 267–314. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Sainsbury, Mark. 2005. Reference without referents. Oxford: OUP. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Sainsbury, Mark. 2011. Fiction and acceptance-relative truth, belief and assertion. In F. Lihoreau (ed.), Truth in fiction, 38–137. Heusenstamm: Ontos Verlag.Google Scholar

  • Salis, Fiora. 2013. Fictional names and the problem of intersubjective identification. Dialectica 67(3). 283–301. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • van der Sandt, Rob. 1992. Presupposition projection as anaphora resolution. Journal of Semantics 9(4). 333–377. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Searle, John. 1975. The logical status of fictional discourse. New Literary History 6(2). 319–332. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Searle, John. 2001. Modals and Illocutionary forces – Reply to Zaefferer. Revue Internationale de Philosophie 55(216). 286–290. https://www.cairn.info/revue-internationale-de-philosophie-2001-2-page-277.htm

  • Shan, Chung-chieh. 2007. Causal reference and inverse scope as mixed quotation. Amsterdam Colloquium 16. 199–204. http://www.illc.uva.nl/AC/AC2007/uploaded_files/proceedings-AC07.pdf

  • Stalnaker, Robert. 1970. Pragmatics. Synthese 22(1–2). 272–289.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Stalnaker, Robert. 1984. Inquiry. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • Stone, Matthew. 1997. The anaphoric parallel between modality and tense. http://repository.upenn.edu/ircs_reports/79

  • Thomasson, Amie. 1999. Fiction and metaphysics. Cambridge: CUP.Google Scholar

  • Walton, Kendall. 1990. Mimesis as make-believe: On the foundations of the representational arts. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar

  • Wechsler, Stephen. 2010. What ‘you’ and ‘I’ mean to each other: Person indexicals, self-ascription, and theory of mind. Language 86(2). 332–365. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Yanovich, Igor. 2011. The problem of counterfactual de re attitudes. Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 21. 56–75. http://elanguage.net/journals/index.php/salt/article/view/21.56

  • Zalta, Edward. 1983. Abstract objects: An introduction to axiomatic metaphysics. Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar

  • Zalta, Edward. 2000. The road between pretense theory and abstract object theory. In T. Hofweber & A. Everett (eds.), Empty names, fiction, and the puzzles of non-existence, 117–147. Stanford: CSLI.Google Scholar

  • Zeevat, Henk. 1999. Demonstratives in discourse. Journal of Semantics 16(4). 279–313. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2017-06-08

Published in Print: 2017-06-27


Citation Information: Theoretical Linguistics, Volume 43, Issue 1-2, Pages 1–45, ISSN (Online) 1613-4060, ISSN (Print) 0301-4428, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tl-2017-0001.

Export Citation

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

[1]
Manuel García-Carpintero
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 2018

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in