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Billboards, Bombs and Shotgun Weddings

Andy Egan
Synthese
Vol. 166, No. 2 (Jan., 2009), pp. 251-279
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40271142
Page Count: 29
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Billboards, Bombs and Shotgun Weddings
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Abstract

It's a presupposition of a very common way of thinking about contextsensitivity in language that the semantic contribution made by a bit of context-sensitive vocabulary is sensitive only to features of the speaker's situation at the time of utterance. I argue that this is false, and that we need a theory of context-dependence that allows for content to depend not just on the features of the utterance's origin, but also on features of its destination. There are cases in which a single utterance semantically conveys different propositions to different members of its audience, which force us to say that what a sentence conveys depends not just on the context in which it is uttered, but also on the context in which it is received.

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