, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 283-296

When the donkey lost its fleas: persistence, minimal situations, and embedded quantifiers

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This paper revisits the question of whether propositions in situation semantics must be persistent [Kratzer (1989). Linguistics and Philosophy, 12, 607–653]. It shows that ignoring persistence causes empirical problems for theories which use quantification over minimal situations as a solution for donkey anaphora [Elbourne (2005). Situations and individuals. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press]. At the same time, modifying these theories to incorporate persistence makes them incompatible with the use of situations for contextual restriction [Kratzer (2004). Ms., University of Massachusetts].

I would like to thank Anna Szabolcsi, Paul Elbourne, Chris Barker, Zoltan Szabo, François Recanati, Lena Baunaz, Jon Brennan, Andrea Cattaneo, Tom Leu, Lisa Levinson, Liina Pylkkänen, Laura Rimell, Oana Savescu-Ciucivara, and Jason Shaw for all their useful discussion and criticism at different stages of this paper’s development. A version of this paper has been presented at Sinn und Bedeutung X in Berlin. Both the audience and the conference reviewers were very helpful with their comments.