Linguistics and Philosophy

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 351-374

First online:

Painted Leaves, Context, and Semantic Analysis

  • Stefano PredelliAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, University of Nottingham Email author 

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This essay aims at neutralizing the contextualist challenge against traditional semantics. According to contextualism, utterances of non-elliptical, non-ambiguous, and non-indexical sentences may be associated with contrasting truth-conditions. In this essay, I grant the contextualist analysis of the sentences in question, and the contextualist assessment of the truth-conditions for the corresponding utterances. I then argue that the resulting situation is by no means incompatible with the traditional approach to semantics, and that the evidence put forth by the contextualists may easily be taken into account by the customary treatment of natural languages.