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Title: The semantics of complex demonstratives
Author: Nethercott, Acer
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2008
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Abstract:
A demonstrative expression is a linguistic device for which, paradigmatically, an accompanying demonstration is required for the determination of content. It is through witnessing the demonstration that accompanies a stereotypical (i.e. deictic I) tokening of a sentence in which a demonstrative expression occurs that a listener discerns which object that demonstrative, on that occasion of use, is being used to talk about. The listener thereby grasps what was said (semantically; and often as a result, pragmatically) via the making of that utterance. Consequently, in the paradigmatic case to miss the demonstration accompanying the use of a demonstrative expression is to be left ignorant as to the referent of the expression on that occasion of use. To the extent that this is a correct categorisation of the paradigmatic case it is correct to say that a hearer will be unable to grasp fully what has been said via an utterance of a sentence containing a demonstrative unless that hearer has witnessed the accompanying demonstration, and thereby is aware which object is the demonstratum? Examples of such paradigmatic uses of demonstrative expreSSIOns are easy to construct. "That" in an utterance in the Louvre of "That is a beautiful painting" is one example (the accompanying pointing action needing to be witnessed in order to determine just which painting is being complimented). An accompanying demonstration is not always necessary, however. In some circumstances the context may do for the speaker or already have done that which the demonstrative act does in the paradigmatic case (viz. render one object in the conversational context relevantly salient). Kaplan's "Stop that man!" scenario is an example of this kind: .. . a demonstration may also be opportune and require no special action on the speaker's part, as when someone shouts "Stop that man" while only one man is rushing toward the door.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.650282  DOI: Not available
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