Logic and Language

Cornelia Ebert (Goethe University Frankfurt): Revisiting the attributive-referential distinction with gesture semantics

Speaker: Cornelia Ebert (Goethe University Frankfurt)
Title: Revisiting the attributive-referential distinction with gesture semantics
Time: 16:00 - 17:30
Location: Online, via Zoom

World Logic Day 2022

This event is a World Logic Day (WLD) 2022 event. as it is taking place close to World Logic Day, 14 January 2022. Click here for a list of events around the world celebrating logic around 14 January 2022.


Zoom link

To join the Zoom meeting, please click https://uva-live.zoom.us/j/81720909000.



We offer a new explanation for Donnellan’s attributive/referential distinction by suggesting a compositional analysis of pointing plus different speech expressions (indefinites, definites, and demonstratives in particular). The pointing gesture has a fixed ‘lexical’ semantics and contributes a certain conventional – by default non-at-issue – meaning depending on its accompanying phrase. The lexical semantics of a gesture is taken to be a rigid concept such that the gesture itself is responsible for rigid interpretations. Demonstratives play a central role, however, as they function as ‘dimension shifters’ from the non-at-issue to the at-issue dimension.

This is joint work with Christian Ebert (cabuu GmbH).