• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This auspicious new volume is designed for linguists who are interested in the deeper issues of their science. Introduction to Linguistic Philosophy lays a solid foundation of linguistic philosophy presenting theories of leading linguistic analysts such as Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Carnap, and Quine. I. E. MackenzieÆs exploration into these theories equips readers for advanced work on most topics in semantics and the study of language. The structure of this book reflects the fact that the philosophical study of language is not systematic, but centers on aspects of language that are considered to be of fundamental conceptual significance. Therefore, this book need not be read in any specific order. Whenever a chapter presupposes an understanding of something that is explained elsewhere in the book, a specific cross-reference is given. MackenzieÆs approach to the philosophy of language stresses the importance of observing how language is used rather than the assuming that it conforms to a pre-existing logical structure. In addition to dealing with foundational issues, such as truth, meaning, and the nature of language, this book explores specific linguistic phenomenaùdescriptions, names, non-extesional contexts and quantificationùwhich have attracted considerable philosophical attention. Introduction to Linguistic Philosophy is a student-centered resource that is recommended for students in linguistics, communication, and philosophy.

Indefinite Noun Phrases, Fregean Quantifiers, and Class Theory
Indefinite noun phrases, fregean quantifiers, and class theory
10.1. Indefinite Noun Phrases

In Parts I to IV of this book, we have taken for granted a distinction between, on the one hand, grammatical subjects and objects and, on the other, predicative and relational locutions. Among the expressions belonging to the first category, we have considered, in addition to proper names, definite noun phrases such as ‘the largest of the Canary Islands’ and ‘Jones's favorite number’. Much discourse depends, however, on indefinite noun phrases, plural and singular, such as ‘a Spaniard’, ‘some Spaniard(s)’, ‘all/every/any Spaniard(s)’, and just ‘Spaniards’.

Indefinite noun phrases do not even purport to refer to things. Thus, while the definite description ‘the student’ in

(1) I spoke to the ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles