Linguistics and Philosophy

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 381–415

Pure quotation and general compositionality

Research Article


Starting from the familiar observation that no straightforward treatment of pure quotation can be compositional in the standard (homomorphism) sense, we introduce general compositionality, which can be described as compositionality that takes linguistic context into account. A formal notion of linguistic context type is developed, allowing the context type of a complex expression to be distinct from those of its constituents. We formulate natural conditions under which an ordinary meaning assignment can be non-trivially extended to one that is sensitive to context types and satisfies general compositionality. As our main example we work out a Fregean treatment of pure quotation, but we also indicate that the method applies to other kinds of context, e.g. intensional contexts.


Quotation Compositionality General Compositionality Linguistic context 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Linguistics, and Theory of ScienceStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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