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Author(s): František Gahér
Subject(s): Semantics, Philosophy of Language
Published by: Filozofický ústav SAV
Keywords: only; only if; if only; meaning; operator; variable; modality;

Summary/Abstract: The paper deals with the semantics of the word only. Though inspired by Lepore’s analysis, it offers a different explication of the existential import of concatenations only + singular expression. It is assumed that the meaning of only in the kinds of collocations under scrutiny (i.e., when preceding a singular expression, a general name, a verb or the connective …if…) is context independent in that it can be explicated by a single scheme No other than ξs are ψs. The scheme varies with the variable type to which only is applied purely as a certain kind of operator. The explication of the role of only, when prefixing …if…, offers a new modality based explanation without invoking the notions of sufficient and necessary condition. The concatenations only + expression are, typically, equivalent to more prolix only-free collocations; thus, only is a suitable device for text compression.

  • Issue Year: 19/2012
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 306-324
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: English