Semantic monsters

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter provides a general overview of the issues surrounding semantic monsters. It outlines the basics of Kaplan’s framework and spells out how and why the topic of “monsters” arises within that framework. The chapter distinguishes four notions of a monster and shows why they all coincide within Kaplan’s framework. The four notions are Characterological operator, Context-shifting operator, Indexical-shifting operator, and Content-shifting operator. It discusses one notion that has spun off into the linguistics literature, namely “indexical shift”. The chapter emphasizes the connection between monsters and the compositionality of asserted content in Kaplan’s original discussion. It discusses monsters and the more general idea of reinterpretation or meaning-shift. The chapter closes with a brief survey of where monsters may dwell, and pointers to avenues for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Reference
EditorsStephen Biggs, Heimir Geirsson
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781003111894
ISBN (Print)9780367629724, 9780367630249
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2020

Publication series

NameRoutledge Handbooks in Philosophy


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