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Semantics and Philosophy in Europe 4, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 30 September 2011 Representing De Se Beliefs Kasia M. Jaszczolt University of Cambridge.

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Presentation on theme: "Semantics and Philosophy in Europe 4, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 30 September 2011 Representing De Se Beliefs Kasia M. Jaszczolt University of Cambridge."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Semantics and Philosophy in Europe 4, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 30 September 2011 Representing De Se Beliefs Kasia M. Jaszczolt University of Cambridge 1

3 The scenario: (1)The person who agreed to organise the drinks is to blame. (2)I am to blame. I completely forgot I was put in charge. 2

4 ‘I once followed a trail of sugar on a supermarket floor, pushing my cart down the aisle on one side of a tall counter and back the aisle on the other, seeking the shopper with the torn sack to tell him he was making a mess. With each trip around the counter, the trail became thicker. But I seemed unable to catch up. Finally it dawned on me. I was the shopper I was trying to catch.’ Perry (1979: 3) 3

5 Early discussions: the status of the objects of attitudes exorcising propositions, introducing properties and ‘relations to oneself’ (Lewis 1979; Chisholm 1981, Perry 1979; Feit 2008) propositions revindicated (Cresswell 1985; Kaplan 1989a; Crimmins and Perry 1989; Schiffer 1992; Perry 2001) 4

6 Pragmatic aspects  Grammar/pragmatics interface in conveying the intended de se meaning  De se reports in minimalist and contextualist approaches  Representing de se reports in Default Semantics 5

7 Outcomes  The role of self-ascription, self-reference, self-attribution and self-awareness (conscious access to oneself)  A contextualist but grammar-based account of de se 6

8 Part I: Beliefs and expressions de se referential semantics conflates (1) with (2): (1)The person who agreed to organise the drinks is to blame. (2)I am to blame. I completely forgot I was put in charge. x [to-blame(x)] (kasia jaszczolt) Perry (2001, 2009): referential content as the ‘default’ content 7

9 ? Grammar produces the self-referring function Chierchia (1989: 28): The cognitive access to oneself is ‘systematically excluded from the interpretation of (non-pronominal) referential expressions. It is systematically present in the interpretation of overt pronouns. It is systematically and unambiguously associated with the interpretation of PRO the null subject of infinitives and gerunds. It is associated with the interpretation of long-distance reflexives (at least in some languages)’. 8

10 ? Grammar produces the self-referring function Chierchia (1989: 28): The cognitive access to oneself is ‘systematically excluded from the interpretation of (non-pronominal) referential expressions. It is systematically present in the interpretation of overt pronouns. It is systematically and unambiguously associated with the interpretation of PRO the null subject of infinitives and gerunds. It is associated with the interpretation of long-distance reflexives (at least in some languages)’. 9

11 Long-distance reflexives (e.g. Chinese ziji, Japanese zibun, or Korean caki) are not specified for person, number of gender (have no  - features) and can have many functions such as subject, object, indirect object, or possessor. Takasi-ga zibun-ga tensai da to omotteiru. Takasi-SUBJ self-SUBJ genius isCOMP think Takasi 1 thinks that he 1 is a genius. (adapted from Huang 2000: 191) 10

12  The cognitive access to the self is present in the semantics of English (in some form or other). 11

13 An argument from non-pronominal expressions (but not the one you expect) x Pace Chierchia, cognitive access to oneself is not so ‘systematically’ excluded from the interpretation of non-pronominal expressions: Sammy wants a biscuit. Mummy will be with you in a moment. honorifics (e.g. Thai ‘mouse’) 12

14 An argument from conceptual shift Kaplan (1989a: 491): uttering ‘I’ and pointing at someone else is ‘irrelevance or madness or what?’ But: ‘I t1+t2 believe I should have prepared the drinks party. In a way I t1 also believed that I t1+t2 should have done it when I t1 walked into the room. The fact is, the person appointed by the Faculty Board should have done it and as I t1 later realised I t1+t2 was this person.’ 13

15 Wiem t1+t2, że to ja t1+t2 powinnam była t1+t2 know 1SgPres thatDemI Nom should 1SgFPast przygotować te drinki. W pewnym sensie, prepare Inf this AccPl drink PlMAcc In certain SgMInstr senseS gMInstr wtedy też wiedziałam t1, ponieważ miała je thenalsoknow 1SgFPast because be-to SgFPast they NMAcc przygotować osoba wybranaprzez Radę Wydziału, prepare Inf person SgFNom selectedby Board SgFAcc Faculty SgMGen a to ja t1+t2 byłam tą osobą. and DemI Nom be SgFPast Dem SgFInstr person SgFInstr 14

16 An argument from 1 st person pronoun Kratzer (2009): pronouns can be ambiguous between a referential and a bound-variable interpretation I’m the only one around here who can take care of my children. Only I admitted what I did wrong. ‘Only you can eat what you cook.’ 15

17 Restriction: Bound-variable uses are rare, restricted, and differ from language to language. Tylko ja jeden przyznałem się do błędu. only 1Sg soleSgMNom admit1SgPastM Refl to mistakeSgMGen Tylko ja jedna tutaj potrafię zajmować się Only 1Sg soleSgFNom here can1SgPres careInf Refl swoimi dziećmi. ReflPronPl Instr childPl Instr 16

18 Kratzer: (i)bound variable pronouns are underlyingly referential pronouns whose meaning can be accounted for through context-shifting. or: (ii)they are unspecified and obtain the meaning through feature transmission from their binders in functional heads. 17

19  Grammatical foundation of self-reference cannot be excluded. 18

20 An argument from pro-drop (but not the one you expect) Kasia wie, że  jest winna. Kasia Nom know 3SgPres that be 3SgPres guilty SgFN self-reference Kasia wie, żeto ona jest winna. Dem she optional self-reference but strongly entrenched Kasia przyznała, że  jest winna. Kasia Nom admit 3SgPast that be 3SgPres guilty SgFN optional self-reference 19

21 An argument from PRO (but not the one you expect) Lidia wants to be a scientist. no underlying ‘I’-reference ‘I want to be a scientist.’ 20

22 Alice wants what Lidia wants. underlying ‘I’-reference (  self-attribution of property) But: Lidia’s mother wants what Lidia wants and that’s why she is buying her lots of scientific books. no underlying ‘I’-reference (  propositionalism) 21

23 Romanian: Subjunctive 1 embedded in the scope of some verbs (‘want’, ‘intend’, ‘try’ + IEM verbs) is the carrier of the de se meaning (and coreference). Maria vrea s ă m ă nânce fursecul. Maria want3Sg Subj eat3Sg cookieDef Maria wants to eat the cookie. Subj 2 (ca + ea (she) + s ă : no systematic trigger of coreference or de se. after Folescu & Higginbotham (forthcoming). 22

24  lexicon/grammar trade-off 23

25 Interim conclusion: The cognitive access to oneself is ? ‘systematically excluded from the interpretation of (non- pronominal) referential expressions’; ? ‘systematically present in the interpretation of overt pronouns’; x ‘systematically and unambiguously associated with the interpretation of PRO the null subject of infinitives and gerunds’;  ‘associated with the interpretation of long-distance reflexives (at least in some languages)’. 24

26  lexicon/grammar/pragmatics trade-offs 25

27 Part II: Reports de se/de re about oneself Kasia believes that she is to blame. quasi-indexical self-ascription self-reference self-attribution self-awareness 26

28 Against syntactic ambiguity of de se/de re: Percus and Sauerland (2003): logical form contains ‘variables over concept-generators’ de re: the complement of ‘believes’ denotes a function from concept-generators to a proposition; de se : the complement of ‘believes’ denotes a function from concept-generators to properties, achieved via type-shifting (cf. Chierchia 1989) 27

29 Default De Se Maier’s (2009) default de se: (i) syntactic processing results in a de dicto reading; (ii) presuppositions added (‘equality first’), coreference is established as a default link; (iii) if  recognize (x,x), then no coreference and search continues.  Default Semantics (Jaszczolt 2005, 2010, forthcoming) 28

30 A disclaimer: non-coreferential readings Kasia x believes that she x is to blame. a strong tendency for coreference, van der Sandt’s (1992) (presupposition as anaphora) grammar delivers contextualist default contents 29

31 Towards a (pragmatic) solution self-ascription (linguistic semantic) self-reference (linguistic pragmatic) self-attribution (epistemic) self-awareness (cognitive) 30

32 ? Grammar conveys self-awareness Allocation of self-awareness to grammar is a matter of an agreement as to what we want the grammar to do: capture strong tendencies or capture patterns that underdetermine meaning.  minimalist or contextualist account 31

33 Contextualists on De Se Semantic representation (or: the truth-conditionally evaluable representation) comprises information about utterance meaning that comes from a variety of sources. 32

34 Contextualists on De Se (i)free, top-down modulation, unarticulated constituents (e.g. Recanati 2004, 2005b, 2010) (ii)hidden-indexical theory, additions to the sentence meaning are traceable to the logical form (e.g. Schiffer 1977, 1992, 1996; also e.g. Crimmins and Perry 1989) (iii)all truth-conditional effects of context can be traced to logical form (e.g. Stanley 2002; Stanley & Szabó 2000 ) 33

35 John Perry: ‘I am making a mess.’ John Perry believes that he is making a mess. FM, HIT, LF:John Perry believes of himself that he is making a mess. 34

36  The Twist: In defence of default grammar-based de se It is methodologically more judicious to assume that grammar produces standard readings. (from: the conceptual universal of self-reference; the omission of the pronoun in pro-drop languages without introducing ambiguity) 35

37 Further argument syntactic representation of de se at large, as a universal conceptual category 36

38 Interim summary Self-awareness persists as a strong tendency across self- attribution and third-person attribution. Contextualist orientation to truth-conditional content does not preclude deriving some of the optional aspects of meaning, such as de se reading of third-person pronouns in belief reports, from the grammar. 37

39 Minimalist Standpoints and De Se Minimal semantics (Borg, e.g. 2004, 2007, ‘liberal truth conditions’); Insensitive semantics (Cappelen and Lepore, e.g. 2005, basic set of context-sensitive expressions); Radical Semantic Minimalism (Bach, e.g. 2004, 2006, 2007, rejection of propositionalism from semantics) 38

40 ‘I believe I am making a mess.’ = self-attributive reading with self-awareness? But cancellation is marginally possible: Look, I t1 believe in this scene, in a sense, that I t1+t2 am making a mess but I t1 don’t know it is me t1+t2. Or instead: the default output of grammar à la Chierchia (2004) (incompatible with minimalism!) 39

41 vs. no self-attributive content in minimalism: I believe the person spilling the sugar is making a mess. I believe that man is making a mess. 40

42 Minimalisms on de se: towards an assessment MS and RSM fulfil their raison d’être with respect to the semantics in a language system but at the expense of misrepresenting the power of grammar. The grammar/pragmatics interface does not allow for a theoretical divide in that when we attribute strong tendencies to grammar (partially supported), there has to be an option for them not to be realised in a particular situation of discourse. 41

43  Proposal: We should not ‘split’ the power of grammar into that pertaining to the system and that pertaining to how grammar functions in utterance processing.  De se belief ascription provides strong support for a contextualist, grammar-triggered construal 42

44 De Se in Default Semantics Jaszczolt 2005, 2007, 2010, forthcoming a,b Sources of meaning information (i)world knowledge (WK) (ii)word meaning and sentence structure (WS) (iii)situation of discourse (SD) (iv)properties of the human inferential system (IS) (v)stereotypes and presumptions about society and culture (SC) 43

45 Types of processes that interact in producing the merger representation: (i)processing of word meaning and sentence structure (WS) (ii)pragmatic inference (from situation of discourse, social and cultural assumptions, and world knowledge) (CPI) (iii)automatic production of cognitive defaults (CD) (iv)automatic production of social, cultural and world- knowledge defaults (SCWD) 44

46 Pragmatic compositionality methodological assumption: a shift of compositionality requirement to the level of interaction of semantic and pragmatic properties (Recanati 2004, 2010; Jaszczolt 2005a, 2010) a supervenience relation between linguistic expressions and a metaphysical (compositional) foundation (Szabó 2000; Schiffer, e.g. 1992, 1996, 2003) 45

47 Bel (x,  ’) the individual x has the cognitive state represented as an embedded representation  ’ 46

48 (i)CD  default status of de re (ii)coreference x=y (iii)  de se (= from CD, WS) 47

49 48

50 I t1 believed I t1+t2 was making a mess. ?/  In a sense, I t1 believed I t1+t2 was making a mess. I t1 just didn’t know that the person I t1 referred to was I t1+t2. 49

51 Merger representation: coreference: condition [y=x] WS the lack of self-awareness: differentiation of indexing on x and y (CD vs CPI) and the non-default use of the belief operator (CPI) 50

52 ‘I believed, in a sense, I was making a mess.’ (marked reading) 51

53 ‘John Perry believes that he is making a mess.’ (default reading) 52

54 ‘John Perry believes that he is making a mess.’ (non-default coreferential reading) 53

55 Summary and Conclusion There is substantial cross-linguistic evidence that there is no reliable representation of self-awareness in the grammar or the lexicon. Instead, there is a lexicon/grammar/pragmatics trade-off, allowing for various degrees of salience of communicating cognitive access to oneself. 54

56 Summary and Conclusion There is substantial cross-linguistic evidence that there is no reliable representation of self-awareness in the grammar or the lexicon. Instead, there is a lexicon/grammar/pragmatic trade-off, allowing for various degrees of salience of communicating cognitive access to oneself. Self-awareness (cognitive access to oneself) can be construed as conveyed by the grammar only when grammar is allowed to produce cancellable interpretations. This is best achieved on a contextualist account. 55

57 When compositionality is shifted to the level of the merger of information (  ), as in DS, the differences between syntactic and pragmatic solutions to de se are rendered unimportant. 56

58 When compositionality is shifted to the level of the merger of information (  ), as in DS, the differences between syntactic and pragmatic solutions to de se are rendered unimportant. In DS, rather than make a case for conscious self-reference as derived from the grammar or from pragmatic enrichment, we acknowledge its default status triggered by the grammar and aided by the CD process that produces an interpretation pertaining to the strongest intentionality of the speaker’s mental state and the strongest referential intention. 57

59 This does not mean that... No overt marker of de se  no special status of de se thought (e.g. Carruthers 2011, Higginbotham 2010,...) 58

60 ‘The indexical fact may have to be taken as primitive.’ Chalmers (1996: 85) the indexical fact  the indexical expression 59

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