Structured propositions in a generative grammar

Bryan Pickel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Semantics in the Montagovian tradition combine two basic tenets. One tenet is that semantic value of a sentence is an intension, a function from points of evaluations into truth-values. The other tenet is that the semantic value of a composite expression is the result of applying the function denoted by one component to arguments denoted by the other components. Many philosophers object to intensional semantics on the grounds that intensionally equivalent sentences do not substitute salva veritate into attitude ascriptions. They propose instead that the semantic values of sentences must be structured propositions. In rejecting intensional semantics, philosophers who endorse structured propositions also usually reject functional compositionality. Undermining both tenets of the Montagovian programme. I defend a semantic theory that incorporates both structured propositions and functional compositionality. I argue that this semantic theory can preserve many explanatory benefits of Montague semantics. Finally, I show how treating composition functional application can resolve core problems internal to a theory of structured propositions.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberfzw074
Pages (from-to)329-366
Issue number510
Early online date10 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


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