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Alleged Assassins: Realist and Constructivist Semantics for Modal Modification

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Logic, Language, and Computation (TbiLLC 2011)

Part of the book series: Lecture Notes in Computer Science ((LNTCS,volume 7758))

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Abstract

Modal modifiers such as Alleged oscillate between being subsective and being privative. If individual a is an alleged assassin (at some parameter of evaluation) then it is an open question whether a is an assassin (at that parameter). Standardly, modal modifiers are negatively defined, in terms of failed inferences or non-intersectivity or non-extensionality. Modal modifiers are in want of a positive definition and a worked-out logical semantics. This paper offers two positive definitions. The realist definition is elaborated within Tichý’s Transparent Intensional Logic (TIL) and builds upon Montague’s model-theoretic semantics for adjectives as representing mappings from properties to properties. The constructivist definition is based on an extension of Martin-Löf’s Constructive Type Theory (CTT) so as to accommodate partial verification. We show that, and why, “a is an alleged assassin” and “Allegedly, a is an assassin” are equivalent in TIL and synonymous in CTT.

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Jespersen, B., Primiero, G. (2013). Alleged Assassins: Realist and Constructivist Semantics for Modal Modification. In: Bezhanishvili, G., Löbner, S., Marra, V., Richter, F. (eds) Logic, Language, and Computation. TbiLLC 2011. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 7758. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-36976-6_8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-36976-6_8

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-36975-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-642-36976-6

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