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Meaning DiminishedToward Metaphysically Modest Semantics$
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Kenneth A. Taylor

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198803447

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198803447.001.0001

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Against the Metaphysical Transparency of Semantic Adicity

Against the Metaphysical Transparency of Semantic Adicity

(p.123) 6 Against the Metaphysical Transparency of Semantic Adicity
Meaning Diminished

Kenneth A. Taylor

Oxford University Press

The argument of previous chapters is generalized from referring expressions to argument-taking expressions more generally. The focus is on potential mismatches between what I call the semantic (and syntactic) adicity of argument-taking linguistic expressions and the objective or metaphysical adicity of real-world properties and relations. Two main arguments are offered, the argument from underarticulation and the argument from cross-linguistic variation. It is argued that where there are such mismatches, we should not expect a priori semantic analysis to be a reliable guide to bridging such gaps and so should not expect a priori semantic analysis to reveal much about the metaphysical adicity of real-world properties, events, states, and relations.

Keywords:   semantic adicity, metaphysical adicity, thematic roles, unarticulated constituents, under-articulation, cross-linguistic variation, argument structure

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