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The Science of MeaningEssays on the Metatheory of Natural Language Semantics$
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Derek Ball and Brian Rabern

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198739548

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198739548.001.0001

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Expressing Expectations

Expressing Expectations

Chapter:
(p.253) 9 Expressing Expectations
Source:
The Science of Meaning
Author(s):

Inés Crespo

Hadil Karawani

Frank Veltman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198739548.003.0009

This chapter addresses a variety of topics: (i) conditionals (there is a third kind of conditionals, somewhere between indicatives and counterfactuals); (ii) relative gradable adjectives (how do they get their evaluative force?); and (iii) generic sentences (why aren’t they all equally general?). What these topics have in common is that one cannot explain the meaning—not even the logical properties—of the expressions concerned without explaining how they affect people’s expectations. This can best be done in a framework in which the meaning of a sentence is not equated with its truth conditions but with its (potential) impact on the intentional state of an addressee.

Keywords:   Expressivism, subjunctive conditionals, gradable adjectives, generic sentences, update semantics

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