The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Ling-lunch 10/16 - Ezra Keshet

Please join us for this week’s Ling-lunch:

Thursday, Oct. 16, 12:30-1:45
Ezra Keshet
“Split Intensionality: A New Theory of the De re/De dicto Distinction”

The traditional scope theory of intensionality (STI) is inadequate, as evidenced by the scope paradoxes discussed in Fodor (1970), Bauerle (1983), and Percus (2000). This talk will therefore propose a replacement for the STI, called split intensionality. Compared to an earlier replacement for the STI, the situation pronoun theory, split intensionality represents a more modest departure. The split intensionality system separates each intensional operator’s quantificational force from its intensional force, by use of a new operator, ^ (after Montague 1970). This move proves enough to solve the problems of the STI without overgenerating — as the situation pronoun theory does. In particular, the talk will focus on new data involving island constraints and negative polarity items that supportsthe split intensionality system over the situation pronoun system.