, Volume 80, Supplement 2, pp 263–312 | Cite as

Using Proper Names as Intermediaries Between Labelled Entity Representations

  • Hans Kamp
Original Article


This paper studies the uses of proper names within a communication-theoretic setting, looking at both the conditions that govern the use of a name by a speaker and those involved in the correct interpretation of the name by her audience. The setting in which these conditions are investigated is provided by an extension of Discourse Representation Theory, MSDRT, in which mental states are represented as combinations of propositional attitudes and entity representations (ERs). The first half of the paper presents the features of this framework that are needed to understand its application to the account of names that follows. N-labelled entity representations, where N is a proper name, play a pivotal part in this account: A speaker must have an N-labelled ER in order to be in a position to use a name N, and the interpreter must either have such a representation, or else construct one as part of his interpretation. The paper distinguishes different types of name uses in terms of what they presuppose about the role of N-labelled ERs on the side of the interpreter.


Proper name Mental representation Discourse Representation Theory Entity representation 



The material of this paper was presented on a number of occasions, including the two workshops that led to the special issue of Erkenntnis in which it is now appearing. I thank the participants of those workshops as well as audiences at presentations in Amsterdam, Nancy, Göttingen and Stuttgart for helpful comments. Particular thanks go to Dolf Rami, Emar Maier, Mark Sainsbury and two anonymous reviewers (with apologies for multiple postings).


  1. Chastain, C. (1975). Reference and context. In K. Gunderson (Ed.), Language, mind and knowledge (Minnesota studies in the philosophy of science, VII). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  2. Chen, H. (2012). Donkey pronouns. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, Austin.Google Scholar
  3. Clark, H. H. (1996). Using language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Clark, H. H., & Marshall, C. R. (1981). Definite reference and mutual knowledge. In I. S. A. K. Joshi & B. Webber (Eds.), Elements of discourse understanding (pp. 10–63). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Clark, H., & Schaefer, E. (1989). Contributing to discourse. Cognitive Science, 13, 259–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clark, H., & Wilkes-Gibbs, D. (1986). Referring as a collaborative process. Cognition, 22, 1–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Donnellan, K. (1966). Reference and definite descriptions. Philosophical Review, LXXV, 281–304.Google Scholar
  8. Evans, G. (1977). Pronouns, quantifiers and relative clauses. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 7, 467–536.Google Scholar
  9. Evans, G. (1980). Pronouns. Linguistic Inquiry, 11, 337–362.Google Scholar
  10. Farkas, D. (2002). Specificity distinctions. Journal of Semantics, 19, 1–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Geach, P. (1962). (Third revised edition: 1980) Reference and generality: An examination of some medieval and modern theories. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Heim, I. (1982, 1988). The semantics of definite and indefinite noun phrases. New York: Garland Press.Google Scholar
  13. Kamp, H. (1990). Prolegomena to a structural account of belief and other attitudes. In C. A. Anderson & J. Owens (Eds.), Propositional attitudes—The role of content in logic, language, and mind (pp. 27–90). Stanford: University of Chicago Press and CSLI. chapter 2.Google Scholar
  14. Kamp, H. (2003). Einstellungszustände und einstellungszuschreibungen in der diskursrepräsentationtheorie. In U. Haas-Spohn (Ed.), Intentionalität zwischen Subjektivit”at und Weltbezug (pp. 209–289). Paderborn: Mentis.Google Scholar
  15. Kamp, H. (2005). Temporal reference inside and outside propositional attitudes. In K. von Heusinger & K. Turner (Eds.), Where semantics meets pragmatics. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  16. Kamp, H. (2011). Representing de se thoughts and their reports. Unpublished manuscript, University of Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  17. Kamp, H., & Reyle, U. (1993). From discourse to logic. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  18. Kamp, H., & Reyle, U. (2011). Discourse representation theory. In K. von Heusinger, C. Maienborn, & P. Portner (Eds.), Handbook of semantics. Berlin: De Gruyter.Google Scholar
  19. Kamp, H., & Roßdeutscher, A. (2015). From roots to discourse. ms. University of Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  20. Kamp, H., van Genabith, J., & Reyle, U. (2011). Discourse representation theory: An updated survey. In D. Gabbay (Ed.), Handbook of philosophical logic (Vol. XV, pp. 125–394). Amsterdam: Elsevier.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kaplan, D. (1989). Demonstratives. In H. W. J. Almog & J. Perry (Eds.), Themes from Kaplan. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Kaplan, D. (1990). Words. In: The Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume LXIV. The Aristotelian Society.Google Scholar
  23. Kripke, S. (1972). Naming and necessity. In D. Davidson & G. Harman (Eds.), Semantics of natural language (pp. 253–355). Dordrecht: Reidel.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kripke, S. (1979a). A puzzle about belief. In A. Margalit (Ed.), Meaning and use. Dordrecht: Reidel.Google Scholar
  25. Kripke, S. (1979b). Speaker’s reference and semantic reference. In P. French, T. Uehling, & H. Wettstein (Eds.), Contemporary perspectives in the philosophy of language. Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  26. Maier, E. (2014). Mixed quotation: The grammar of apparently transparent opacity. Semantics & Pragmatics, 7, 1–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Matushansky, O. (2005). Call me Ishmael. In E. Maier, C. Bary & J. Huitink (Eds.), Proceedings of sub (vol. 9). Radboud University, Nijmegen.Google Scholar
  28. Neale, S. (1990). Descriptions, Bradford books. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  29. Recanati, F. (2012). Mental files. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Russell, B. (1905). On denoting. Mind, 14, 479–493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Searle, J. (1990). Collective intentions and actions. In M. J. M. P. R. Cohen & E. Pollack (Eds.), Intentions in communication (pp. 401–416). Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  32. Strawson, P. (1950). On referring. Mind, 59, 320–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Van Der Sandt, R. (1992). Presupposition projection as anaphora resolution. Journal of Semantics, 9, 333–377. Special Issue: Presupposition, Part 2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Van Der Sandt, R., & Geurts, B. (1991). Presupposition, anaphora, and lexical content. In O. Herzog & C.-R. Rollinger (Eds.), Text understanding in LILOG. Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of StuttgartStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.University of TexasAustinUSA

Personalised recommendations