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On Context Shifters and Compositionality in Natural Languages

Organon F, 2018, vol. 25, No 1, pp. 2-20.
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My modest aim in this paper is to prove certain relations between some type of hyper-intensional operators, namely context shifting operators, and compositionality in natural languages. Various authors (e.g. von Fintel & Matthewson 2008; Stalnaker 2014) have argued that context-shifting operators are incompatible with compositionality. In fact, some of them understand Kaplan’s (1989) famous ban on context-shifting operators as a constraint on compositionality. Others, (e.g. Rabern 2013) take contextshifting operators to be compatible with compositionality but, unfortunately, do not provide a proof, or an argument in favor of their position. The aim of this paper is to do precisely that. Additionally, I provide a new proof that compositionality for propositional content (intension) is a proper generalization of compositionality for character (hyper-intensions).

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