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Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language$
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Friederike Moltmann

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199608744

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608744.001.0001

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Reference to Tropes and the Ontology of Tropes

Reference to Tropes and the Ontology of Tropes

(p.46) 2 Reference to Tropes and the Ontology of Tropes
Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language

Friederike Moltmann

Oxford University Press

Tropes, that is, particularized properties, play a significant role both in contemporary metaphysics and in the history of philosophy (wherethey are also called “accidents,”“modes,” or “moments”). This chapter shows that tropes play an important role in the semantics of natural language, especially the semantics of de002D;adjectival nominalizations and adjectives. The chapter gives a general introduction to the notion of a trope, distinguishes various types of tropes, and gives an account of events in terms of tropes. It argues that the standard notion of a trope needs to be replaced by more complex notions in order to account for the semantics of relative and gradable adjectives. It also gives an account of related categories of entities that need to be sharply distinguished from tropes, namely states and facts, which unlike tropes are abstract entities.

Keywords:   tropes, particularized properties, events, facts, numbers, degrees, adjectives, comparatives

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