Publication Type:


Alexei Chernyak
People’s Friendship University of Russia
Issue number: 
No. 3 (Vol. 41)

The article is devoted to a philosophical discussion of semantics of indexical expressions inspired mainly by theories of D. Kaplan and P. Schlenker. The author considers Schlenker’s arguments contra Kaplan that referents of indexicals sometimes may not be considered as directly provided by contexts of their use. He argues that the idea that indexicals can have shifted reference can and should be developed further. The author discusses cases which seem to call for a broader understanding of context dependency of indexicals. In particular the cases that introduce contexts where the speaker does not refer to herself as a unique individual specifically located in space and time. It is argued that references in such cases can hardly be explained as either shifted or not shifted in the standard way suggested by Schlenker. These examples are followed by more examples of conditional shifting and examples of split shifted parameters. The author argues that such real speech situations along with communicative intentions of speaker suggest that a broader understanding of context dependency of indexicals should be taken into account.

indexicals, semantics, context shift, conditional shifting, split shift parameters, D. Kaplan, P. Schlenker

Anand P. De De Se. Ph.D. Dissertation. MIT, 2006;
Anand P., Nevins A. "Shifty operators in changing contexts". Watanabe K., Young R. B. (eds.) Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory (= SALT) XIV. Ithaka, NY: CLC Publications, 2004;
Dummett M.A.E. "What is the theory of meaning? (II)". The Seas of Language. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993;
Higginbotham J. "Remembering, imagining, and the first person". A Barber (ed.). Epistemology of Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003;
Kaplan D. "Demonstratives". Themes from Kaplan. Almog J., Perry J., Wettstein H. (Eds.), Oxford University Press, 1989;
Montague R. "English as a Formal Language". Thomason R.H. (ed.) Formal Philosophy. Selected Papers of Richard Montague. New Heaven, 1974;
Perry J. (1977) "Frege on Demonstratives". Yourgrau P. (ed.) Demonstratives. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990;
Schlenker P. "Plea for monsters", Linguistics and Philosophy 26, 2003;
Schlenker P. "Indexicality and De Se Reports". von Heusinger, Maienborn and Portner (ed.) Handbook of Semantics. Mouton de Gruyter, 2010;
Sells P. "Aspects of logophoricity". Linguistic Inquiry 18(3), 1987;
Wittgenstein L. Philosophical Investigations. Oxford: Blackwell, 1953.

Full Text: