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Formal Semantics and the Interpretation of Fiction

Göttingen, May 30, 2013
by

Emar Maier

on 8 October 2013

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Transcript of Formal Semantics and the Interpretation of Fiction

Formal
Semantics

Cognitive Semantics
DRT and Presupposition
What is meaning?
Mentalism
Realism
Emar Maier
[[
Göttingen
]] =
[[
Göttingen
]] =
[[
Göttingen is cute
]] = 1 iff
[[
Göttingen
]] [[
cute
]]
iff
c
-
{
c
-
[[
Frodo is a hobbit
]] = 1 iff [[
Frodo
]] [[
hobbit
]]
[[
Frodo is a hobbit
]] = the set of worlds in which Frodo is a hobbit
Fiction in Possible
Worlds
Metafiction
Frodo doesn't exist
Frodo is a fictional character in Tolkien's Lord of The Rings
Truth and Falsity in Fiction
Frodo is a hobbit
Frodo is an orc
David Lewis (1978)
Fiction as Modal Operator
[[
Op(Frodo is a hobbit)
]] = 1 iff
[[
Frodo is a hobbit
]] = 1
in all w' compatible with the relevant fiction:
Direct Reference
[[
Göttingen
]] = the city that was named "Göttingen" in @
meaning of proper name = referent
Ambiguity?
[[
Frodo'
]] = the person called "Frodo" in w
[[
Frodo
]] = the person called "Frodo" in @
Fiction in Formal Semantics?
[[
Op(Frodo' is an orc)
]] = 0
diagonalization...
John owns a cat and a dog
He doesn't like the dog
Mental Spaces
b
c
interpretation = mental space construction
a
BOOK
BASE
a: Frodo
a is a hobbit
b: Tolkien
c: Lord of the Rings
b wrote c
b c
Frodo is
a hobbit
b'
BLEND
a'
a': Frodo
a' is fictional
Formal Semantics and the Interpretation of Fiction
Common Ground
Mental State
Stalnaker, Lewis, Heim, ...
Kamp, Asher, ...
Speaker's Perspective
Hearer's Perspective
May 30, 2013
Göttingen
[[
Op(Frodo' is a hobbit)
]] = 1
w
[[
Op(Frodo is a hobbit)
]] = #
[[
Frodo is fictional
]] = #
[[
Op(Frodo is fictional)
]] = #
[[
Op(Frodo' is fictional)
]] = 0
[[
Frodo' is fictional
]] = #
(?)
modal fiction operator
ambiguity in names
no uniform treatment of names in fiction and metafiction
c'
Discourse
Representation
Theory
Philosophy
What does a DRS represent?
Interpreting Fiction
Frodo is a hobbit
...and Metafiction
Frodo is fictional
Conclusion
no uniform formal semantics for names in fiction and metafiction
consider interpretation from a cognitive perspective?
DRT = Cognitive Interpretation + Modeltheory
This is
water
This is
water
Formal Semantics for Cognitive DRT
Fauconnier, Turner, ...
,
, ...
}
Meaning = Truth Conditions
w
w
w
c
-
Frodo is a hobbit
Op( )
w
w'
[[
Frodo
]] = the person called "Frodo" in @
w
objection 1
objection 2
w
w
=#
Frodo is a hobbit
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