Anaphora and Definite Descriptions

Two Applications of Game-Theoretical Semantics

  • Jaakko Hintikka
  • Jack Kulas

Part of the Synthese Language Library book series (SLAP, volume 26)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Introduction to Game-Theoretical Semantics

    1. Jaakko Hintikka, Jack Kulas
      Pages 1-30
    2. Back Matter
      Pages 31-31
  3. Definite Descriptions

    1. Jaakko Hintikka, Jack Kulas
      Pages 33-74
    2. Back Matter
      Pages 75-76
  4. Towards a Semantical Theory of Pronomial Anaphora

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 77-77
    2. Jaakko Hintikka, Jack Kulas
      Pages 79-86
    3. Jaakko Hintikka, Jack Kulas
      Pages 87-112
    4. Jaakko Hintikka, Jack Kulas
      Pages 113-128
    5. Jaakko Hintikka, Jack Kulas
      Pages 129-155
    6. Jaakko Hintikka, Jack Kulas
      Pages 157-196
    7. Jaakko Hintikka, Jack Kulas
      Pages 197-222
    8. Back Matter
      Pages 223-224
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 225-249

About this book


I n order to appreciate properly what we are doing in this book it is necessary to realize that our approach to linguistic theorizing differs from the prevailing views. Our approach can be described by indicating what distinguishes it from the methodological ideas current in theoretical linguistics, which I consider seriously misguided. Linguists typically construe their task in these days as that of making exceptionless generalizations from particular examples. This explanatory strategy is wrong in several different ways. It presupposes that we can have "intuitions" about particular examples, usually examples invented by the linguist himself or herself, reliable and sharp enough to serve as a basis of sharp generalizations. It also presupposes that we cannot have equally reliable direct access to general linguistic regularities. Both assumptions appear to me extremely dubious, and the first of them has in effect been challenged by linguists like Dwight Bol inger. There is also some evidence that the degree of unanimity among linguists is fairly low when it comes to less clear cases, even in connection with such relatively simple questions as grammaticality (acceptability). For this reason we have tried to rely more on quotations from contemporary fiction, newspapers and magazines than on linguists' and philosophers' ad hoc examples. I also find it strange that some of the same linguists as believe that we all possess innate ideas about general characteristics of humanly possible grammars assume that we can have access to them only via their particular consequences.


Bertrand Russell Deixis discourse semantic semantics

Authors and affiliations

  • Jaakko Hintikka
    • 1
  • Jack Kulas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyFlorida State UniversityUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1985
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-277-2056-6
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-5410-6
  • Series Print ISSN 0924-4662
  • Buy this book on publisher's site