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Unbound Anaphoric Pronouns: E-Type, Dynamic, and Structured-Propositions Approaches

Friederike Moltmann
Synthese
Vol. 153, No. 2 (Nov., 2006), pp. 199-260
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27653419
Page Count: 62
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Unbound Anaphoric Pronouns: E-Type, Dynamic, and Structured-Propositions Approaches
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Abstract

Unbound anaphoric pronouns or 'E-type pronouns' have presented notorious problems for semantic theory, leading to the development of dynamic semantics, where the primary function of a sentence is not considered that of expressing a proposition that may act as the object of propositional attitudes, but rather that of changing the current information state. The older, 'E-type' account of unbound anaphora leaves the traditional notion of proposition intact and takes the unbound anaphor to be replaced by a full NP whose semantics is assumed to be known (e.g. a definite description). In this paper, I argue that there are serious problems with any version of the E-type account as well as the (original form of the) dynamic account. I will explore a new account based on structured propositions, which can be considered a conservative extension of a traditional proposition-based semantics, but which at the same time incorporates some crucial insights of the dynamic account.

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