ARTICLES IN REFEREED JOURNALS                                                     

  • [38] 'Names, Light Nouns, and Countability'.  Linguistic Inquiry 54(1), 2022, 117 - 146link
    • AbstractMaking use of Kayne's (2005, 2010) theory of light nouns, this paper argues that light nouns are part of (simple) names and that a mass-count distinction among light nouns explains the behavior of certain types of names in German as mass rather than count. The paper elaborates the role of light nouns with new generalizations regarding their linguistic behavior in quantificational and pronominal NPs, their selection of relative pronouns in German, and a general difference in the support of plural anaphora between English and German.
  • [37] 'Truthmaker-Based Content: Syntactic, Semantic, and Ontological Contexts'. Reply to the comments on [36].  Theoretical Linguistics 47 (1-2), 2021, 155-187.
    • Abstract: In this (self-contained) reply I outline the views of my paper 'Truthmaker Semantics for Natural Language' and respond to the various points of critiques the commentators raised. I outline an explicit syntactic analysis of attitude reports with clausal complements acting as predicates of attitudinal objets and propose a novel, compositional way of dealing with opacity within object-based truthmaker semantics.
  • [36] 'Truthmaker Semantics for Natural Language: Attitude Verbs, Modals and Intensional Transitive Verbs', target article, with comments by B. Arsenijevic, R. Matthews, P. Portner and A. Rubinstein, K. Liefke, W. Davies, P. Elliot, G. Ramchand, and M. Kaufmann, Theoretical Linguistics 46 (3-4), 2020, 159-200.  
    • Abstract: This paper gives an outline of truthmaker semantics for attitude reports and modal sentences against the background of standard possibe-worlds semantics, based on an ontology of attitudinal and modal objects and on a semantic function of clauses as predicates of of such objects. It also gives new motivations for such an 'object'based' truthmaker semantics from intensional verbs such as need, look for, own, and buy.
  • [35] 'Situations, Alternatives, and the Semantics of 'Cases'.   Linguistics and Philosophy 44, 2021, 153-193.
    • AbstractThis paper argues that case-constructions are of considerable interest for philosophy of language and natural language semantics (and syntax). It elaborates the overall view that NPs with case as head noun stand for situations in their role as truthmakers within a space of alternatives, determined by a sentence or an epistemic state. The semantics of case-constructions bears on a range of central issues in semantics, such as the ontology of situations, alternative semantics, kind reference, lexical actuality entailments, the syntax and semantics of relative clauses, conditionals, epistemic modals, and truth predicates.
  • [34] 'Existence Predicates'. Synthese197, Issue 1, 2020, 311–335  
    • Abstract: Natural languages does not display a univocal notion of existence, the notion that most philosophers uphold. Rather, natural language generally distinguishes among different existence predicates for different types of entities, such as English 'exist', 'occur', and 'obtain'. The paper gives an in-depth discussion and analysis of existence predicates in English within the general project of  natural language ontology.
  • [33] 'An Object-Based Truthmaker Semantics for Modals'. Philosophical Issues Volume 28, Issue 1, October 2018, pp. 255-288  ('Philosophy of Logic and Inferential Reasoning', edited by C.F. Juhl and J. Schechter).
    • Abstract: This paper outlines a new semantics of modals that aims to overcome difficulties for standard modal logic, especially standard deontic logic. The semantics is based on an a novel ontology of modal objects on the one hand and truthmaker theory along the lines of Fine's recent truthmaker semantics on the other hand.
  • [32] 'Truth Predicates, Truth Bearers, and their Variants'. Special issue 'Truth: Concept meets Property', edited by J. Wyatt, Synthese198, 2021, 689–716 journal link
    • Abstract: This paper argues that truth predicates and their variants, predicates of correctness, satisfaction and validity, do not apply to propositions (not even with that-clauses), but to a range of attitudinal and modal objects. As such natural language reflects a notion of truth that is primarily a normative notion of correctness constitutive of representational objects. The paper moreover argues that true is part of a larger class of satisfaction predicates whose semantic differences are best accounted for in terms of a truthmaker theory along the lines of Fine's recent truthmaker semantics.
  • [31] 'Number Words as Number Names'. Special issue on cardinals edited by C. Roberts and S. Shapiro, Linguistics and Philosophy 40(4), 2017, 331-345. link
    • Abstract: This paper re-evaluates linguistic evidence for the apparent non-referential status of number words in argument position. 
  • [30] 'Partial Content and Expressions of Part and Whole. Discussion of Stephen Yablo: Aboutness'. Invited contribution to a book symposium on S. Yablo Aboutness. Philosophical Studies 174(3), 2017, pp. 797-808.
    • Abstract: This paper discusses the linguistic reflection of partial content, arguing that the notion of partial content applies to a great range of attitudinal and modal objects, rather than propositions or sentences.
  • [29] 'Attitude Reports, Cognitive Products, and Attitudinal Objects: A Response to G. Felappi On Product-Based Accounts of Attitudes'. Thought 6.1., 2017, pp. 3–12, online.
    • Abstract: This paper argues that Felappi's recent critique of my view of attitude reports is entirely mistaken.
  • [28] ‘States vs Tropes. Commentary on Marcyn Morzicki: ‘Degrees as Kinds of States’’. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 33.3., special issue edited by B. Gehrke and E. Castroviejo Miró, 2015, pp. 829-841.
    • Abstract: This paper compares states and tropes as entities involved in the semantics of gradable adjectives.
  • [27] 'Propositions, Attitudinal Objects, and the Distinction between Actions and Products'.  Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43.5-6, special issue 'Propositions and their Grasp or Understanding', edited by D. Hunter and G. Rattan, 2014, pp. 679-701.
    • Abstract: This paper presents the action-product distinction of Twardowski and argues for a novel semantics of attitude reports on which that-clauses act as predicates of attitudinal objects, a category of objects that includes cognitve products and mental states.
  • [26] 'The Semantics of Existence'. Linguistics and Philosophy 36.1., 2013, pp. 31-63.
    • Abstract: This paper examines the expression of existence in natural language, in particular in the form of the existence predicates exist and occur.
  • [25] 'Identificational Sentences'. Natural Language Semantics 21.1., 2013, pp. 43-77.
    • Abstract: This paper gives a novel analysis of identificational sentences such as This is Mary as involving the identification of the berarer of a trope (particularized property). This analysis also applies to specificational sentences of the sort What John saw was Mary.
  • [24] 'Tropes, Bare Demonstratives, and Apparent Statements of Identity'. Noûs 47.2., 2013, pp. 346-370.
    • Abstract: This paper argues that statements like This is the same lump of clay but not the same statue as that are not statements of relative identity, but identificational sentences, involving the identification of the bearer of two distinct tropes (particularized properties).
  • [23] 'Reference to Numbers in Natural Language'.  Philosophical Studies 162.3, 2013, pp. 499-536
    • Abstract: This paper argues that natural language does not involve reference to numbers with expressions like the number of planets and eight, but only with reifying terms of the sort the number eight.
  • [22] 'Two Kinds of First-Person-Oriented Content'.  Synthese 184.2, special issue edited by Philippe de Brabanter and Mikhail Kissine, 2012, pp. 157-177.
    • Abstract: This paper argues for two distinct sorts of first-person oriented content: one involving ordinary first person pronouns, the other generic one, which, it is argued, is also implicitly present in statements triggering faultless disagreement.
  • [21] 'Generalizing Detached Self-Reference and the Semantics of Generic 'One''. Mind and Language 25(4), 2010, pp. 440-473.
    • Abstract: This paper argues that generic one involves generic simulation, conveying generalized detached self-reference, or the objective self, to use Thomas Nagel's term.
  • [20] 'Relative Truth and the First Person'. Philosophical Studies 150(2), 2010, pp. 187-220.
    • Abstract: This paper argues that intuitions of faultless disagreement are due to the implicit presence of generic one, which conveys first-person-oriented based genericity, rather than the relativization of truth to a judge parameter.
  • [19] 'Degree Structure as Trope Structure: A Trope-Based Analysis of Positive and Comparative Adjectives'. Linguistics and Philosophy 32(1), 2009, pp. 51-94.
    • Abstract: This paper gives an account of adjectives in the positive and the comparative based on tropes (particularized properties). By construing degrees as tropes, the paper reconstructs established insights of adjective semantics in terms of tropes. But it also provides specific arguments for the trope-based account.
  • [18] 'Intensional Verbs and their Intentional Objects'. Natural Language Semantics 16(3), 2008, pp. 239-270.
    • Abstract: This paper deals with quantifiers like 'something' when occurring as complements of intensional transitive verbs. It argues that challenges that arise for the nominalization theory of such quantifier occurrences can be overcome by extending the ontology, making use of variable satisfiers, a version of variable embodiments in Kit Fine's sense.
  • [17] ‘Events, Tropes and Truthmaking’. Philosophical Studies 134, 2007, pp. 363-403.
    • Abstract: This paper explores event semantics based on truthmaking rather than Davidsonian implicit arguments of verbs. It gives a range of arguments in favor of the truthmaking approach and against the Davidisonian view.
  • [16] 'Generic One, Arbitrary PRO, and the First Person'. Natural Language Semantics 14, 2006, pp. 257-281.
    • Abstract: This paper develops a semantics of generic one and arbitrary PRO based on the notion of (generic) simulation.
  • [15] 'Unbound Anaphoric Pronouns: E-Type, Dynamic and Structured Propositions Approaches'. Synthese 153, 2006, pp. 199-260.
    • Abstract: This paper critically discusses situation-based E-type approaches and dynamic approaches to unbound anaphoric pronouns. It argues for a new account based on structured propositions and background attitudes.
  • [14] 'Presuppositions and Quantifier Domains'. Synthese 149, 2006, pp. 179-224.
    • Abstract: This paper argues for a new notion of domain presupposition and gives a general account of presuppositions in terms of pre-identification, relating to the local discourse context or else the actual index of evaluation.
  • [13] 'Part Structures in Situations: The Semantics of Individual and Whole'. Linguistics and Philosophy 28(5), 2005, pp. 599-641.
    • Abstract: This paper outlines a theory of situated part structures based on the notion of an integrated whole. It gives a semantic analysis of the adjectives individual and whole and traces two different readings of whole to a part structure being conceived either as Aristotelian (including form) or not (not including form).
  • [12] 'The Semantics of Together'. Natural Language Semantics 12, 2004, pp. 289-318.
    • Abstract: This paper argues that adnominal together does not act as an antidistributive marker, but instead conveys cimulative measurement.
  • [11] 'Two Kinds of Universals and Two Kinds of Collections'. Linguistics and Philosophy 27(6)., 2004, pp. 739-776.
    • Abstract: This papers argues that natural language allows for reference to two sorts of universals, roughly Aristotelian universals (wisdom, human beings) and Platonic universals (the property of being wise, the kind human being). It argues that the distinction between the semantic values of plural NPs (the students) and collective NPs (the group of students) is analogous.
  • [10] 'Nonreferential Complements, Derived Objects, and Nominalizations'Journal of Semantics 13, 2004,  pp.1-43.
    • Abstract: This paper gives a semantic account of adjective nominalizations and nominalizations of attitude verbs and argues that quantifiers like something when taking the position of complements of the copula or attitude verb have a nominalizing function, involving the same sorts of objects as nominalizations of adjectives or attitude verbs.
  • [9] 'Properties and Kinds of Tropes: New Linguistic Facts and Old Philosophical Insights'.  Mind 123(1), 2004, pp. 1-41.
    • Abstract: This papers argues that natural language reflects a distinction between kind of tropes (wisdom) and properties (the property of being wise). It relates the former to Aristotle and medieval trope nominalists (Ockham).
  • [8] 'Propositional Attitudes without Propositions'. Synthese 135, 2003, pp. 70-118.
    • Abstract: This paper argues that clausal complements of attitude verbs are not terms standing for propositions acting as arguments of the verb. It provides a neo-Russellian analysis of attitude reports according to which attitude vers are multigrade predicates and that-clauses stand for ordered pluralities of propositional constituents filling in the multigrade argument position of attitude verbs.
  • [7] 'Nominalizing Quantifiers'. Journal of Philosophical Logic 32(5), 2003, pp. 445-481.
    • Abstract: This paper argues that quantifiers like something, when taking the position of non-nominal expressions, are nominalizing quantifiers introducing a new domain of objects rather than acting as substitutional quantifiers or inferential devices.
  • [6] 'Part Structures, Integrity and the Mass-Count Distinction'. Synthese 116, 1998, pp. 75-111.
    • Abstract: This paper presents a theory of part structure based on the notion of an integrated whole and argues that the notion of an integrated whole is at the heart of the mass-count distinction, including that between singular count and mass part (a part of of vs part of)
  • [5] 'Intensional Verbs and Quantifiers'. Natural Language Semantics 5(1), 1997, pp. 1-52.
    • Abstract: This paper gives an analysis of intensional transitive verbs with quantificational complements.
  • [4] 'A New Notion of Part Structure for Natural Language'. Data and Knowledge Engineering 20(3), 1996, pp. 323-345.
    • Abstract: This paper outlines a notion of part structure based on the notion of an integrated whole.
  • [3] 'Exception Sentences and Polyadic Quantification'. Linguistics and Philosophy 18, 1995, pp. 223-280.
    • Abstract: This paper develops a semantics of exception sentences and shows that exception sentences may display polyadic quantifcation.
  • [2] 'Reciprocals and Same/Different. Towards a Semantic Analysis'. Linguistics and Philosophy 15(4), 1992, pp. 411-462.
    • Abstract: This paper gives an analysis of reciprocals and same/different in terms of a bipartite  propositions, one part being an ordinary plural proposition, another consisting of an association of entities with parts of a plurality.
  • [1] 'Measure Adverbials'. Linguistics and Philosophy 14(6), 1991, pp. 629-660.
    • Abstract: This paper gives an analysis of adverbials like for two hours and throughout the country in tems of quantification over parts of a location, rather than the selection of a type of event (atelic events as opposed to telic events).


  • [38] 'Linguistic and Philosophical Intuitions and the Core-Periphery Distinction'. To appear in Nefdt, R., Dupre, G., & Stanton, K. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Linguistics. (under contract with Oxford University Press).
  • [37] 'Special Quantification'. To appear in A. Grzankowski and A. Savile (eds.): Festschrift for Mark Sainsbury, Routledge.
    • Abstract: Prior’s problem consists in the impossibility of replacing clausal complements of most attitude verbs by ‘ordinary’ NPs; only ‘special quantifiers’ that is, quantifiers like something permit a replacement. In my 2013 book Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language, I have shown how this generalizes to nonreferential complements of various other intensional predicates and argued for a Nominalization Theory of special quantifiers. This paper will review and extend the range of linguistic generalizations that motivate the Nominalization Theory and show that they pose serious problems for substitutional analyses as well for recent higher-order approaches to special quantifiers. The paper will outline a new version of the Nominalization Theory applicable to special quantifiers in their various occurrences.
  • [36] The richness of the ontology of natural language: mind-dependence or selection? Invited contribution, R. Gaskin (ed.): Linguistic Idealism. Oxford UP, Oxford
  • [35] 'Modes, Disturbances, and Spatio-Temporal Location'. To appear in C. Rossi and A. Moran (eds.): Objects and Properties. Oxford UP, Oxford.
  • [34] 'Reference to Properties in Natural Language'. In A. Fisher and A.S. Maurin (eds.): Routledge Handbook of Properties. Routledge, New York, 2023
    • Abstract: After a short, perspectival overview of the semantics of potential property-referring terms, this paper presents new and surprising generalizations about explicit property-referring terms like 'the property of being wise', which raise fundamental issues regarding ontology and learnability and a core-periphery distinction in natural language ontology.
  • [33] 'Is there Reference to Abstract Objects in Natural Language?'. To appear in A. Poliakoff (ed.):  Linguistic and Philosophical Thought about Reference. Lexington Books, Rowman and Littlefield.
  • [32] 'Attitudinal Objects and Propositions'. In A. Murray and C. Tillman (ed.): Routledge Handbook of Propositions, Routledge, New York, 2023.
    • Abstract: This paper defends the view that attitudinal objects such as claims, beliefs, judgments, and requests form an ontological category of its own sharply distinguished from that of events and states and that of propositions. Attitudinal objects play a central role in attitude reports and avoid the conceptual and empirical problems for propositions. Unlike the latter, attitudinal objects bear a particular connection to normativity. The paper will also discuss the syntactic basis of a semantics of attitude reports based on attitudinal objects.
  • [31] Tastes and the Ontology of Impersonal Perception Reports, inJ. Wyatt, J. Zakkou, and D. Zeeman (eds): Perspectives on Taste. Routledge, New York, 2022.
    • Abstract: Sentences such as Chocolate tastes good have been widely discussed as sentences that give rise to faultless disagreement. As such, they actually belong to the more general class of impersonal perception reports, which include The violin sounds / looks strange as well sentences that are about an agent-centered situation such as It feels / seems like it is going to rain. This paper no longer makes use of experiencers or judges as implicit arguments of taste predicates, but argues that impersonal perception verbs (taste, look, feel, seem), have a logophoric character. More precisely, such verbs describe perceptual occurrences whose experiencer is identical to the agent of the utterance situation, described attitudinal situation, or the situations a generic operator may range over.
           Perceptual occurrences are sharply distinguished ontologically from perceptual experiences as well as perceptual objects, entities we refer to as ‘the taste of chocolate’ and ‘the sound of the violin’. Sentences about perceptual objects (the taste of chocolate is good) also give rise to faultless disagreement, but the source of that is a first-person-based attribution of an evaluative predicate to an (objective) perceptual object.
  • [30] 'On the Semantics and Ontology of the Mass-Count Distinction'. Forthcoming, commissioned article for Philosophy Compass.
  • [29] 'Natural Language Ontology'. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, online, fall 2022 edition
  • [28] 'Truthmaking, Satisfaction and the Force-Content Distinction'. In G. Mras / M. Schmitz (eds): The Unity of the Proposition and the Force-Content Distinction. Routledge, 2021.
    • Abstract: This paper presents a novel perspective on the force-content distinction making use of truthmaker semantics and an ontology of attitudinal objects, things that are neither acts (or states) nor propositions.
  • [27] 'Levels of Ontology and Natural Language: The Case of the Ontology of Parts and Wholes'.  In J. Miller (ed.): The Language of Ontology. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2021.
    • Abstract: Two levels of ontology are commonly distinguished in metaphysics: the ontology of ordinary objects and the ontology of what there really or fundamentally is. This paper argues that natural language reflects not only the ontology of ordinary objects, but also a language-driven ontology, which is involved in the mass-count distinction and part-structure-sensitive semantic selection (as well as perhaps the light ontology of pleonastic entities in the sense of Schiffer). The language-driven ontology does not constitute another level of representation, but is taken to be a (selective) ontology of the real, given a plenitudinous or maximalist conception of reality. The language-driven ontology aligns closely with the functional part of grammar and a commitment to it is mandatory with the use of language. This gives rise to a novel view according to which part of ontology should be considered part of universal grammar on a broadened understanding.The paper recasts my older theory of situated part structures without situations, in purely ontological terms, making use of a primitive notion of unity.
  • [26] 'Introduction'. In F. Moltmann (ed.): Mass and Count in Linguistics, Philosophy and Cognitive Science. Benjamins, Amsterdam, 2020.
  • [25] 'Natural Language Ontology'. In R. Bliss/J. Miller (eds.): Routledge Handbook of Metametaphyics 2020.
    • Abstract: This paper gives an outline of natural language ontology as a subdiscipline of both linguistics and philosophy. It also argues that part of the constructional ontology reflected in natural language is in significant respects on a par with syntax (on the generative view).
  • [24] 'Abstract Objects and the Core-Periphery Distinction in the Ontological and Conceptual Domain of Natural Language'. In Falguera, J. L. / C. Martínez (eds.): Abstract Objects. For and Against. Synthese Library, Springer, Dordrecht, 2020, 255-276. Publication link
    • Abstract: This paper elaborates core-periphery distinctions in the ontological and the conceptual domain of natural language. The core-periphery distinction is essential for the pursuit of natural language ontology and has been made implicitly by any philosopher present or past when appealing to natural language for motivating an ontological notion or view. The distinction plays a central role in the main thesis of my 2013 book Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language, that natural language permits reference to abstract objects only in its periphery, not its core. The paper explores how the core-periphery distinction relevant for ontology appears to be structurally anchored and relates to the more familiar core-periphery distinction that Chomsky drew for syntax.
  • [23] 'Attitudinal Objects. Their Importance for Philosophy and Natural Language Semantics'. In B. Ball and C. Schuringa (eds.): The Act and Object of Judgment. Routledge, 2019, 180-201
    • Abstract: This paper argues for the philosophical and semantic importance of attitudinal objects, entities such as judgments, beliefs, demands, and desires, as an ontological category fundamentally different from that of events and states, and that of propositions. The paper clarifies the relation of attitudinal objects to Davidsonian events, critically discusses Twardowski's distinction between actions and products, and argues for a semantics of attitude reports based on attitudinal objects.
  • [22] 'Outline of an Object-Based Truthmaker Semantics for Modals and Attitude Reports'. To appear in A. Egan / P. van Elswyck / D. Kinderman (eds.): Unstructured Content. Oxford UP. 
    • Abstract: Against the background of standard possible-worlds semantics, this paper outlines a truthmaker semantics of attitude reports and modal sentences based on an ontology of attitudinal and modal objects and on a semantic function of clauses as predicates of attitudinal and modal objects. The paper gives a novel account of connections between modals and attitude verbs, weak and strong permissions, response stance and factive verbs, and phenomena of modal concord.
  • [21] 'Ontological Dependence, Spatial Location, and Part Structure'. In Claudio Masolo, Roberta Ferrario, Stefano Borgo and Laure Vieu (eds.): Ontology Makes Sense. Essays in Honor of Nicola GuarinoIOS Publications, Amsterdam2019, 211-220.
    • Abstract:This paper discusses attributively limited concrete objects such as disturbances (holes, folds, scratches etc), tropes, and attitudinal objects, which lack the sort of spatial location or part structures expected of them as concrete objects. The paper proposes an account in terms of (quasi-Fregean) abstraction, which has so far been applied only to abstract objects.
  • [20] 'Clauses as Semantic Predicates. Difficulties for Possible-Worlds Semantics'. In R. Bhatt/I.Frana/P. Menendez-Benito (eds.): Making Worlds Accessible. Festschrift for Angelika Kratzer, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, online, 2020.
    • Abstract:  Recently an alternative to the standard view of clauses as proposition-referring terms has been explored, according to which embedded clauses act semantically as predicates of content-bearing objects. This paper argues that this approach faces serious difficulties when it is based on possible worlds-semantics. It outlines a development of the approach in terms of truthmaker theory instead.
  • [19] ‘Nominalization: The Case of Nominalizations of Modal Predicates’. In The Blackwell Companion to Semantics (SemCom) edited by D. Gutzman, L. Matthewson, C. Meier, H. Rullmann,  and T. E.  Zimmermann, Wiley, New York, 2020.
    • Abstract: This paper discusses the semantics of different sorts of nominalizations of 'philosophical entities' (to use Montague's 1969 term), focussing on the underexplored topic of nominalizations of modal predicates.
  • [18] 'Existence Predicates'.In M. Szatkowski (ed.): Quo Vadis Metaphysics. DeGruyter, Berlin, 2019, 33-63.
  • [17] 'Nominals and Event Structure'. In R. Truswell (ed.): Oxford Handbook of Event Structure. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2019.
    • Abstract: This paper compares Davidson's event semantics to one based on truthmaking and argues that both are needed for a full account of the semantics adverbials.
  • [16] 'Variable Objects and Truthmaking'. In M. Dumitru (ed.): Metaphysics, Meaning, and Modality. Themes from Kit Fine. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2020. Comments by Kit Fine . Reponse to the comments of Fine by F. Moltmann
    • Abstract: This paper argues that terms like the number of people that can fit into the bus or the book John needs to write stand for variable objects, objects whose definition involves the notion of truthmaking.
  • [15] 'Natural Language and its Ontology'. In A. Goldman / B. McLaughlin (eds): Metaphysics and Cognitive Science, Oxford UP, 2019, pp. 206-232.
    • Abstract: This paper argues that natural language involves its own ontology, which may be different from the ontology a philosophy may be willing to accept or even a non-philosopher when thinking about what there is -- as well from the ontology of what there really
  • [14] 'Intensional Relative Clauses and the Semantics of Variable Objects'. In M. Krifka / M. Schenner (eds.): Reconstruction Effects in Relative Clauses. Studia Grammatica, D Gruyter, Berlin, 2018, pp. 427-453.
    • Abstract: This paper develops a semantic analysis of terms like the book John needs to write as terms standing for variable objects, arguing against alternative approaches on which they would stand for individuals concepts such as that of Grosu/Krifka (2007).
  • [13] 'Natural Language Ontology'. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics. Oxford UP, New York, April 2017. online version
    • Abstract: This paper lays out natural language ontology as an emerging discipline, distinguishing it (as part of descriptive metaphysics) from foundational metaphysics
  • [12] 'A Plural Reference Interpretation of Three-Dimensional Syntactic Trees'. In C. van Urk / H. Kotek / C. Halpert (eds.): A Pesky Set. Papers for David Pesetsky'. MIT Working Papers in Linguistics (MITWPL) 80, MIT Cambridge (Mass.), 2017, pp. 103-109.
    • Abstract: This paper outlines a novel interpretation of three-dimensional syntactic trees in terms of plural reference, reference to several objects at once.
  • [11] 'Levels of Linguistic Acts and the Semantics of Saying and Quoting'. In S. L. Tsohatzidis (ed.): Interpreting Austin: Critical Essays. Cambridge UP, Cambridge, 2017, pp. 34-59.
    • Abstract: This papers argues that Austin's notion of a locutionary act is extremely well-reflected in the semantics of natural language. It develops a new semantics of verbs saying (say, think, write) as well as of direct quotation within the overall view that sentences act semantically as predicates of attitudinal and modal objects. The paper outlines a novel compositional semantics of quotation based on three-dimensional syntactic structures, permitting the integration of lower-level linguistic structures (say, phonological or morphological structures) into the syntactic input to semantic interpretation.
  • [10] ‘On the Ontology of Cases’. Nelly Flaux / Pauline Haas / Vassil Mostrov / Katia Paykina / Fayssal Tayalati (eds.): De la Passion du Sense en Linguistique. Hommage à Danièle van de Velde. Presses Universitaires de Valenciennes, 2017, pp. 171-186. TOC
    • Abstract: This paper outlines a semantic analysis of constructions with the noun case and argues that it involves truthmaking.
  • [9] 'Introduction'. With Mark Textor.  In F. Moltmann / M. Textor (eds.): Act-Based Conceptions of Propositional Content. Contemporary and Historical Perspectives. Oxford UP, New York, 2017, pp. vii - xviii.
  • [8] 'Cognitive Products and the Semantics of Attitude Verbs and Deontic Modals'. In F. Moltmann / M. Textor (eds.): Act-Based Conceptions of Propositional Content. Contemporary and Historical Perspectives. Oxford University Press, New York, 2017, pp. 254-290.
    • Abstract: This paper outlines a novel semantics of attitude reports based on attitudinal objects rather than propositions. It also outlines a novel semantics of (deontic) modal sentences based on modal objects rather than quantification over possible worlds.
  • [7] 'The Number of Planets, a Number-Referring Term?'. In P. Ebert / M. Rossberg (eds.): Abstractionism. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2016, pp. 109-133.
    • Abstract: This paper argues that the number of planets is not a number-referring term, but instead a term referring to a number trope, the manifestation of a number property in a plurality of objects.
  • [6] 'Introduction', with M. Carrara. In M. Carrara / A. Arapinis / F. Moltmann (eds.): Unity and Plurality. Logic, Philosophy, and Semantics. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2016, pp. vi-xv.
  • [5] 'Plural Reference and Reference to a Plurality. Linguistic Facts and Semantic Analyses'. In M. Carrara / A. Arapinis / F. Moltmann (eds.): Unity and Plurality. Logic, Philosophy, and Semantics. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2016, pp. 93-120.
    • Abstract: There are two approaches to the semantics of plurals: reference to a plurality (sums, sets) and plural reference. The paper argues in favor of plural reference, mainly based on linguistic data.
  • [4] 'Quantification with Intentional and with Intensional Verbs'. In A. Torza (ed.): Quantifiers, Quantifiers, Quantifiers. Springer: Synthese Library, Dordrecht, 2015, pp. 141-168.
    • Abstract: This paper argues that the ontology of natural language involves intentional (nonexistent) objects, but only in contexts involving quasi-referential acts (acts of unsuccessful or pretended reference). Intentional objects are distinguished from fictional objects and construed in terms of coordinated quasi-referential acts.
  • [3] 'Truth Predicates' in Natural Language'. In D. Achourioti / H. Galinon / J. Martinez (eds): Unifying the Philosophy of Truth. Springer: Synthese Library, Dordrecht, 2015, pp. 57-83.
    • Abstract: This paper distinguishes between two truth-related predicates in natural language. True is a Type 1 truth predicate, is the case a type 2 truth predicate. Type 1 truth predicates involve the ascription of a property to an attitudinal object (such as a claim or judgment), type 2 truth predicates convey truthmaking.
  • [2] 'On the Distinction Between Abstract States, Concrete States, and Tropes'. In A. Mari / C. Beyssade / Del Prete, F. (eds): Genericity. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013, pp. 292-311.
    • Abstract: This paper discusses the distinction between tropes and states in the context of natural language. It distinguishes between concrete and abstract states, and gives an account of abstract states in terms of Fregean abstraction.
  • [1] 'Resumptive Quantifiers in Exception Sentences'. Makoto Kanazawa et al. (eds.): Quantifiers, Deduction, and Context, CSLI lecture Notes. Stanford, 1994 (also appeared in ITLI Prepublication Series, LP-93-11, University of Amsterdam, 1993).
    • Abstract: This paper semantically analyses exception sentences and the polyadic quantifiers they may involve.





Coordination and Comparatives, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1992, thesis supervisor: N. A. Chomsky, available also here.


Syllabification and Lexical Phonology in German

Scrambling German and the Specificity / Definiteness Effect


OUP BLOG ENTRIES (introducing my books to a wider readership)

'What sorts of things are the things we believe, hope or predict?' (August 2017).

'Unity without objecthood, in art and in natural language'. (July 2017)

'Abstract objects: two ways of introducing them, in the core and the periphery of language' (June 2017)

'The one, the many and the neither one nor many: On Hokusai's woodblockprints' (November 2016)


Natural Language and Its Ontology

Truth Predicates, Truth Bearers, and their Variants

RECENT MANUSCRIPTS and Work in Progress

  • 'Events and Countabity'. November 14, 2021
    • AbstractThere is an emerging view according to which countability is not an integral part of the lexical meaning of singular count nouns, but is ‘added on’ or ‘made available’, whether syntactically, semantically or both. This view has been pursued by Borer and Rothstein among others in order to deal with classifier languages such as Chinese as well as challenges to standard views of the mass-count distinction such as object mass nouns such as furniture. I will discuss a range of data, partly from German, that such a grammar-based view of countability receives support when applied to verbs with respect to the event argument position. Verbs themselves fail to specify events as countable in English and related languages; instead countability is made available only by the use of the event classifier time or else particular lexical items, such as frequency expressions, German beides ‘both’, or the nominalizing light noun -thing. The paper will not adopt or elaborate a particular version of the grammar-based view of countability, but rather critically discuss existing versions and present two semantic options of elaborating the view.
  • 'Ontology as Part of Grammar'. In progress.
    • Abstract: This paper argues that the ontology of natural language is the object of tacit knowledge, rather than of acceptance (a form of belief) and possible rejection. As a selective ontology of the real (in a permissive or maximalist sense), it should be regarded as part of grammar in an extended sense.
  • 'The Ontology of Emotions and the Linguistic Reflection of their Content'. In progress.
    • Abstract: Traditionally philosophers (following, for example,Twardowski) distinguish between the (intentional or formal) object and the content of an emotion. This paper shows that this does not match our linguistically reflected intuitions. By various lingustic criteria, entities such as anger, happiness, joy, and even fear are not treated as content bearers, though they may be directed toward an imagined fact or states of affairs. They contrast in that respect with hopes and feelings. This paper will pursue the question how general that distinction is and whether it can be viewed as grounded in the ontology of emotions.   


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