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Shorthand, Syntactic Ellipsis, and the Pragmatic Determinants of What Is Said

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Our first aim in this paper is to respond to four novel objections in Jason Stanley's ‘Context and Logical Form’. Taken together, those objections attempt to debunk our prior claims that one can perform a genuine speech act by using a sub‐sentential expression—where by ‘sub‐sentential expression’ we mean an ordinary word or phrase, not embedded in any larger syntactic structure. Our second aim is to make it plausible that, pace Stanley, there really are pragmatic determinants of the literal truth‐conditional content of speech acts. We hope to achieve this second aim precisely by defending the genuineness of sub‐sentential speech acts. Given our two aims, it is necessary to highlight briefly their connection—which we do in the first part of the Introduction. Following that, we introduce Stanley's novel objections. This is the role of the second part of the Introduction. We offer our rebuttals in Section 2 (against ‘shorthand’) and Section 3 (against syntactic ellipsis, among other things).

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy, University of Oklahoma 2: Department of Philosophy, University of Western Ontario

Publication date: September 1, 2004


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