Anaphora and Definite Descriptions: Two Applications of by Jaakko Hintikka

By Jaakko Hintikka

I n order to understand accurately what we're doing during this booklet it's important to gain that our method of linguistic theorizing differs from the present perspectives. Our technique might be defined by means of indicating what distinguishes it from the methodological principles present in theoretical linguistics, which I think of heavily inaccurate. Linguists more often than not construe their job today as that of creating exceptionless generalizations from specific examples. This explanatory method is incorrect in different alternative ways. It presupposes that we will have "intuitions" approximately specific examples, often examples invented via the linguist himself or herself, trustworthy and sharp sufficient to function a foundation of sharp generalizations. It additionally presupposes that we won't have both trustworthy direct entry to basic linguistic regularities. either assumptions seem to me tremendous doubtful, and the 1st of them has in influence been challenged via linguists like Dwight Bol inger. there's additionally a few proof that the measure of unanimity between linguists within reason low by way of much less transparent circumstances, even in reference to such rather easy questions as grammaticality (acceptability). therefore now we have attempted to count extra on quotations from modern fiction, newspapers and magazines than on linguists' and philosophers' advert hoc examples. I additionally locate it unusual that a number of the comparable linguists as think that all of us own innate principles approximately common features of humanly attainable grammars imagine that we will be able to have entry to them merely through their specific consequences.

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Additional resources for Anaphora and Definite Descriptions: Two Applications of Game-Theoretical Semantics

Example text

The following game rule: INTRODUCTION TO GAME-THEORETICAL SEMANTICS (G. necessarily) (51) 23 I f the game has reached the sentence Necessarily X and a world wI, then Nature chooses a modal alternative, say w2, to wI' The game is then continued with respect to X and w2' (ii) One of the intensional notions which can be dealt with in this way is knowing that. The resulting game-theoretical treatment of epistemic logic can be extended to allow a treatment of the semantics of questions. Among the relevant game rules for knowing are the followin9 : (G.

The game is then continued with respect to (11) D [b] & C [b] & "'D [d] • If band d do not already have proper names, such names, say "b" and lid II , are given to them and added to the underlying language. I f the domain D = {bl. Nature's choice is impossible and the game is continued with respect to (12) D[b] & C[b]. Since Myself's choices correspond to existential quantifiers and Nature's choices to universal quantifiers, this rule makes (10) equivalent to (13) (Ex) (D[x] & C[x] & (Ay)(y:tx + "'D[y])) which is equivalent to (2).

It confines the quantifiers that we rely on in a Russell-style treatment to the set of individuals chosen by either player in the game up to the move in which a definite description is assigned a reference. Likewise it is clear how this idea can be implemented by means of explicit game rules. What we have to do is to start from the game rule that codifies the generally accepted Russellian treatment. This game rule was formulated above in sec. 1. The question we are facing is, What can we do to adapt this treatment to the behavior of anaphoric the-phrases?

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